The true story of Jamie Campbell is one that is completely intertwined with Sheffield, and one that we are incredibly proud to tell as a city because it reflects the values of inclusivity and diversity that we want to champion.
Jamie Campbell hails from County Durham, and the BBC originally produced a documentary about his true story of wanting to be a drag queen and wear a dress to his end of school prom.
Jonathan Butterell (who is from Parson Cross in Sheffield) ultimately directed the original stage show at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre in 2017, which then immediately became a smash hit and went to London's West End and now over the pond to the USA.
Warp Films (also based in Sheffield having been part of the Warp Records original founding in the city) very quickly decided they wanted to produce a film, which Jonathan Butterell also went on to direct, and decided to set it in Sheffield as a homage to how the story had become such a success in the city.
Local spots, cast, extras, locations and so much more are all peppered throughout the film, from the famous Abbeydale Picture House to Crookes Social Club. And after the original planned release in cinemas was hit by the pandemic, eventually the film got full release around the world on Amazon Prime Video in September 2021, on the same day as an unforgettable premiere was hosted back at the very same Crucible Theatre.
To celebrate this we hosted free screenings with Cinema For All (another Sheffield based organisation) at venues across the city (including queer friendly venues like Abbeydale Picture House and DINA), promoted parties that venues were hosting that evening, and put on a very special costume and prop display in the Winter Garden with the help of Warp Films, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield BID and Amazon Prime Video.
Jamie Campbell now lives in Sheffield and is establishing his bold vision for fashion with his own brand, and turned on our Christmas lights in 2021 to mark the impact his story has had on the city and to recognise how grateful we are for him allowing it to be told in the way it has to the city's benefit.