The 30th anniversary tour of the smash hit musical Fame bursts onto the King’s Theatre stage this week as part of a new revamped UK tour. Long before the cult following of Glee and High School musical hit our TV screens, a 1980s
film about a group of talented wannabe young stars inspired a generation to “live forever”.
Fame (a film directed by Alan Parker which then spawned a hit TV show and stage musical) follows the trials and tribulations of a group of talented young students at New York High School of Performing Arts.
Through energetic choreography and showtunes the performance expertly navigates the highs and lows of Fame while featuring issues that every generation faces. The action packed show covers a wide rangeo of themes: romance, sexuality, addiction and a journey to self discovery as these talented young stars dream of fame and fortune.
The cast features some well known stars such as Jorgie Porter, a former Hollyoaks star playing the role of Iris Kelly. Keith Jack who was one of Andrew Lloyd Webber protégés in Any Dream Will Do also stars in the role of Nick.
The incredibly talented Mica Paris is well cast in the role of Miss Sherman, stealing the show with her passionate performance of These are My Children, which earned a standing ovation.
Stephanie Roja plays the desperately fame hungry Carmen who’s fiery passion to be a star eventually leads her to tumble into the dark side of the fame industry. Her performance of In LA was emotionally charged and contrasted beautifully with her eager and naive earlier performance of There She Goes.
There are also a number of comedic moments mostly attributed to the class clown Joe who spends more time hitting on the female students than he does honing his craft.
The scripting is quite simplistic to allow for more of the choreography and music to take centre stage – however this can mean the audience take a bit longer to build up empathy and understanding of the range of characters on stage. However the incredible high energy routines choreographed by Nick Winston more than make up for this.
Die hard fans of the original musical may be surprised to find some of the more dated numbers have been changed for rap numbers and revamped songs bringing it into a more modern context.
The highlight of the show is without doubt the finale with Roja, joined by Paris, belting out the most
famous and iconic Fame track which had the audience on their feet immediately. 30 years on Fame
looks set to inspire a new generation to reach for the stars.
Fame is at the King’s Theatre until Saturday 4th August.