• Creators of hit West End musical receive honorary doctorates from Sheffield Hallam University

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    October 30, 2018
    The talented creators of hit musical Everyone's Talking about Jamie are to receive an honorary doctorate in recognition of their success.

    Jonathan Butterell, Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae - the creative team behind the smash hit musical - will receive the honour from Sheffield Hallam University at a ceremony in November.

    The musical was inspired by the 2011 BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, which tells the story of a 16-year-old schoolboy living on a Sheffield council estate who harbours dreams of becoming a drag queen.

    The show premiered at the Crucible Theatre, in February 2017 before transferring to the Apollo Theatre in the West End, where it will celebrate its first birthday in November 2018. 

    Since opening, it has received a host of five star reviews as well as being nominated for five Olivier Awards and winning Best New Musical at the WhatsOnStage Awards and the UK Theatre Awards. 

    The musical was screened live from the Apollo theatre to over 500 cinemas across the UK and Ireland on Thursday 5 July 2018 and subsequently world-wide. In 2019 Warp Films are making a big screen film version of the musical with Jonathan, Dan and Tom as the creative team.

    Jonathan Butterell is a Sheffield born choreographer and stage director who began his career working with renowned choreographer Matthew Bourne. He has extensive stage (on and off broadway and West End) and screen experience having choreographed revival shows such as Fiddler on the Roof and Nine. 

    Dan Gillespie Sells is a singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known as being the lead vocalist and frontman for the band The Feeling.

    Tom MacRae is a BAFTA and Olivier-nominated screenwriter, author and playwright. He is the creator of Comedy Central's Threesome. He has also written for Marple and Lewis for ITV, and Casualty, Doctor Who and Bonekickers for the BBC.

    In a joint statement, the trio said: "As three Sheffield boys  - Jonathan by birth, Tom and Dan by adoption - we couldn’t be more thrilled to accept this amazing honour. 

    This is a tribute not only to the close relationship between The Crucible Theatre and Sheffield Hallam University, but also to the incredible relationship between Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and the people of Sheffield themselves. 

    None of us have any professional training, so thank you for finally making us qualified to do what we do. 

    “This is the absolute high point of all our careers." 

    The trio will formally accept their honours alongside graduating students from the university's allied health professions, biosciences and chemistry courses on Friday 23 November.  
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