Drag Race judge Michelle Visage to make West End debut in Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Shantay, you stay: Michelle Visage at the Emmy Awards earlier this week: AFP/Getty Images
Shantay, you stay: Michelle Visage at the Emmy Awards earlier this week: AFP/Getty Images

RuPaul's Drag Race judge Michelle Visage is set to make her West End debut in hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie next month.

The performer, 49, joins the show fresh from picking up an Emmy with RuPaul Charles for the drag reality series. She will play teacher Miss Hedge in Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae’s musical about a 16-year-old boy from Sheffield who wants to wear a dress to his school prom, which is based on a true story.

Visage told the Standard she first saw the show at the Apollo Theatre while visiting London eight months ago. “Everybody was talking about it - literally,” she said. She began her career in girl band Seduction and trained in musical theatre, so was invited to audition. “I’m a real theatre kid — that’s all I ever wanted to be. I learned the song in less than 24 hours. They asked me to join on the spot,” she said.

As an advocate for teen mental health and the LGBT community, Visage said: “The show has a connection for me on many levels which is ironic, as the role I’m doing is the opposite of who I am as a person.” Making her debut in the musical on October 18, the New Jersey-born star promised to “give it all I can give” on stage, including a northern accent.

She will also be sneaking to the nearby Gielgud Theatre to see one of her heroes, Patti LuPone, who will be starring in Company . “Our matinee days are opposite, so I’ve told Patti I’m going to be at every one. I’m making her come to mine. She has no choice.”

She called Monday night’s Emmy win “a thank you for acknowledging the work we do for our community”, adding: “Ru looked at me, grabbed my hand and said, ‘Let’s go get it.’ ”