A smash hit musical has a pocket-sized star at London’s Apollo Theatre courtesy of a University of Cumbria performing arts graduate.
Crowds flocking to Shaftesbury Avenue to see award-winning Everybody’s Talking About Jamie could meet-up with a celebrity doll depicting the show’s lead.
The brainchild of Stee Leahy, 26, who worked his Jamie lookalike from a 16inch Barbie-type doll, the model has brought widespread acclaim and clamours for copies.
Performer Stee said he had been bowled over by the response from Jamie writers Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae and was delighted his work of art would be seen by theatre goers.
He explained: “This story really resonated with me because it challenges very real issues in subtle, clever ways.
“Jamie wasn’t allowed to go to his high school prom in a dress and told his brain was the wrong shape for the school. That’s how I felt as the only boy who wanted to do drama and performing arts.
“It was only when I went to University of Cumbria that I found creative people with the same shaped brain as me and spent the best three years of my life.”
The musical is based on Jamie Campbell, from Bishop Auckland, near to Northallerton, where Stee is from.
“I’ve been invited to see the show with Jamie and his mum,” he said. “How amazing would that be, sitting in the audience with the real people, while their characters are being acted out on stage.”
Stee said he was sorry he had not been able to hand-deliver his doll to the Apollo, but was busy work commitments.
“I’ve seen the show twice and loved it. There’s a weekly competition to upload artwork for theatre tickets and that’s why I decided to make my miniature.
“The response has been amazing. I’ve had requests from members of the cast for more dolls. Even other west end productions are asking for models from their shows.”
Stee says there are no plans to shift his acting career to model maker, particularly in the busy pantomime season, where he has clinched roles as Buttons in Cinderella, King Rat in Dick Whittington and is about to start in a run of Sleeping Beauty.
“I love pantomime. That’s where my heart is, but it’s great to have had this success with my Jamie doll,” he added.