New love in lockdown for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie star

Alongside the joy of getting back on the stage comes the joy of new love in her personal life for Amy Ellen Richardson.

Amy Ellen Richardson (Margaret) in the Everybody's Talking About Jamie Tour. Photo credit Matt Crockett
Amy Ellen Richardson (Margaret) in the Everybody's Talking About Jamie Tour. Photo credit Matt Crockett

Amy, who grew up in Fareham, went to St Edmund’s school in Portsmouth and trained at Portsmouth’s Jean Marks School Of Dance, is on the road as Jamie’s mum in the feel-good musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Brighton Theatre Royal from December 7-January 2 and at Southampton’s Mayflower from January 4-8.

“It has been great getting back to it, Amy says. “We are all older and wiser and 18 months has gone by. There has been a lot of growth and growing up and also new perspectives. We’re just so grateful that we can do this again now. Our industry had been so badly hit. We had done five weeks with the show before the pandemic and we were in Birmingham when good old Boris gave us the news that we had to down tools and shut everything up.

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“It was a great shock but there was a comfort, as rubbish as it all was, in knowing that everybody was in the same boat across the UK regardless of what job you were doing. We were all locked down but as time went on it became clear that the theatre and the arts really were the bottom of the pile and that was quite difficult to get your head around and that makes it just so much more wonderful to get back.

“I know I have been changed by the pandemic and I think everybody has. It was a time to take stock and to think about what is really important and obviously that’s the age-old thing about being with your loved ones. I think we all got by somehow but it was about understanding how important it was to look after yourselves and pay attention to other people. I know a lot of people struggled.

“But actually I fell in love! Personally for me I have gone on such a huge journey in matters of the heart! I know that the pandemic was incredibly difficult for so many people and it was for me in many ways but the thing that I thought had been missing in my life has actually happened and I have found someone very special. We have got engaged to be married. We met a couple of months before the pandemic in January 2020 and we just went from strength to strength which is a remarkable thing to say during a pandemic. It has been amazing and I’m so happy. It has been a long and rocky road in love for me but now the path is smooth!

“I have found a lot of solace and comfort during that year thanks to what happened. We’re going to let everybody calm down and then we will think about getting married perhaps in a couple of years’ time. I just think it shows that even in all the horrible stuff there is always hope.”

And hope is also what Everybody’s Talking About Jamie gives people.

Jamie New is sixteen and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. Jamie doesn’t quite fit in. Jamie is terrified about the future. Jamie is going to be a sensation. Supported by his loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps into the spotlight.

“I think what we have also learned during the pandemic is that people need to feel like they are part of something again, part of a community again and that’s what this show does. It is a show about tolerance and acceptance, accepting yourself for who you are and accepting others for what they are. It’s embracing everyone with love and respect. I’m playing Jamie’s mum and I have met her a lot. It is based on her story and their story as mother and son but obviously the show is not completely factual in every respect.

“But Margaret is an incredible lady. She is so full of love and heart. You can see that from the way they are with each other. She is very pragmatic and practical and just gets on with things. It is a big responsibility to make sure that we put across her story in the correct way. She is so strong and very resilient but also an incredible softie!”