12-17 May 2014
Reviewed by Sandra McGhee
Wasn’t I not only an extremely fortunate and very lucky reviewer to have been chosen to review “Fame The Musical – Like You’ve Never Seen it Before” last night, it happened to be the press opening night of the show.
My daughter Lucy (9) and I were not only excited about the show but this was also our first visit to the Milton Keynes Theatre (situated in Malborough Gate, the centre of Milton Keynes). I left in plenty of time as I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going and what the traffic would be like on a Monday evening (luckily I missed the rush hour traffic) and I made sure I had my SatNav but had recently had a bad experience of this failing so as a backup I also printed a map for Lucy to refer to, our be my personal navigator for the journey which added a little excitement to our adventure. Anyway we arrived smoothly at our destination in plenty of time and easily found a parking place a few minutes walk away. The theatre opened almost 14 years ago and my one regret is not visiting the theatre beforehand as I was instantly pleasantly surprised on how nice the venue was. We had a very warm welcome upon collecting our tickets and as we arrived in plenty of time we chose to have pre-dinner drink in the piano bar and then enjoyed the pianist playing some beautiful music and enjoyed the calming atmosphere amongst the other guests. We then visited the kiosk bought some refreshments and made our way to our seats situated in Stalls H, Lucy was offered a booster seat but decided after accepting and finding her seat this wasn’t required as the seats are on a slope this wasn’t necessary as our view was fantastic very central.
The auditorium quickly filled up and I couldn’t spot a single spare seat in sight, so we were very honoured to be invited to attend the opening night. The opening was explosive and instantly gave me a flashback of the film (which came to our screens back in 1980 almost 30 years ago) which the show is based on. Most people know the storyline of Fame, 97 chosen ones from over 4,000 applicants had auditioned for a space in the high profile Drama School in New York and they were definitely the cream of the crop.
The first thing I noticed with the first act was well hold on wait a minute have I got the right show as practically all the pupils were carrying some form of the latest gadget, be it Ipads/iphone/ or mobile phones then I realised why the title included – Like You’ve Never Seen it Before!, it was a modern remake of Fame certainly with a twist and was recreated for the 20th century!
Directed and choreographed by Gary Lloyd, what an amazing creation the show was pure genius, so cleverly written with lots of modern day humour. Each and every dance routine was beautiful. All the performers my gosh, so much energy, not once was there any sign of being out of breath it was unbelievable, a real variety of performers all so happy to be on stage and all so young. The wardrobe and lighting were spot on with some great costumes
All the songs were sung so well and the acting was incredible, there was a mezzanine raised floor above the stage where the five piece band were situated and they were brilliant!
Jodie Steele plays the lead magnificently as tragic wannabe star Carmen Diaz and after her tragic ending gave a great finale which we were amongst the first of plenty in the audience to quickly get up and dance and clap along loving the atmosphere (and of course sing along). All the cast members performed well and it was obvious they had all worked so dam hard. Alex Thomas who played Tyrone Jackson was my favourite, adorable and his dancing the best so versatile including every different style of dance from ballet to street and modern to name a few. All the performers took our breath away with their singing and quality of dancing. The show certainly gave my daughter a flavour of theatre life for a student illustrating how hard you need to work for success in show business and the tragic consequences of easily taking the wrong path!
All in all a great performance, not to be missed and in my top 5 of recent musicals seen. Fame will surely Live Forever. I’m going to try and locate a copy of the DVD to watch again as the story an all-time classic in my eyes!
Tickets cost from £12.90 to £41.40 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8717652.
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3NZ