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Sunday, 21 February 2021

REVIEW: West End Musical Drive In starring Shan Ako, Maiya Quansah Breed, Shanay Holmes and Layton Williams

Last Summer, when theatres were closed and audiences were desperate for their fix of musical theatre, households flocked to car parks and fields across the country for a COVID-safe drive-in alternative. Here, West End Musical Brunch presents a concert somewhere between Glastonbury Festival and West End Eurovision.

Founder Shanay Holmes opens the show with Fabulous, Baby from Sister Act, and comperes throughout. Filmed during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, she references BAME industry representation throughout and proudly welcomes an all-black cast for this particular concert. She encourages the audience to be actively anti-racist whilst singing This Is Me, all the while providing brilliant vocals. Her hosting skills could be honed but she does a great job and is incredibly warm.

Layton Williams is the headliner this time around and delivers material from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (joined by his West End and UK tour castmates), Rent, Hairspray and Kinky Boots. He definitely feels at home in this environment and is clearly enjoying performing in this kind of setting.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

REVIEW: Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre

Jamie, a 16 year old high school student, has aspirations to become a drag queen and when his School prom comes around he wants to attend it in a dress. This doesn't go down well with some of the students and after his struggles with his family and bullying at school he over comes this and realises what his teacher really means by “keeping it real”, even if she doesn't know it herself. 

Everybody’s talking about Jamie has one of the most important messages being told in theatre right now and for it to be in such a mainstream commercial bracket is incredible, it is so vital for people to witness this story because it could change the way people view and think about young people, their teenage years, sexuality and career aspirations. This show isn’t just an inspiring story about a gay kid becoming who he truly is, it is so much more.

Jamie has recently welcomed many new faces to the company in its first major cast change. 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Pocket Size Theatre 5th Anniversary: Our Top 10 Interviews!

We have been lucky enough to interview some incredible performers, from all lines of work. We have collected together our top 10 most viewed interviews over our 5 years at Pocket Size Theatre and here they are! And what a selection of people we have. Click on the images to read the interviews. 


Monday, 21 November 2016

INTERVIEW: Layton Williams, currently playing Angel in the 20th Anniversary production of RENT

Layton Williams is currently starring in the 20th Anniversary production of the cult classic RENT which tours the UK with a stop in London's St James Theatre from 8th December - 28th January. His other credits include Hairspray (UK tour), Thriller! Live (Lyric Theatre) Billy in Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace), The Car Man (UK tour) and on television Bad Education and Beautiful People. 

You came into the professional theatre business rather early, as one of the original Billy Elliots in the West End. How was that whole process?
It was pretty special. My story is very much the Billy Elliot story - I auditioned with very little experience when I was 11. I hadn't done a ballet class or had any professional training but they must've seen potential I guess.

What is it like to have such pressure at such an early age? Did you realise at the time what big a deal it was?
I absolutely had no clue. When I speak with people now about it they say they remember all the talk and controversy about this new "Black Billy"! I was just enjoying the ride as a child and luckily it never really stopped.
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