Reviewed by Catherine Brown
Whether a fan of the 1980s film and television series or new to the show, you will be sure to have a great time at the 30th Anniversary tour of Fame the Musical, currently at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. A fantastic blend of music, comedy and dancing, this rollercoaster of a ride is full of high kicks and emotional moments.
Fresh students at the New York High School for the Performing Arts soon discover the hard work and challenges that their time at ‘PA’ will involve. Issues such as prejudice, identity and sexuality are dealt with unambiguously through song and dialogue showing the realities of a desire for Fame. The students reveal their different journeys to get to PA and the challenges they face to achieve their ambitions.
Mica Paris plays the role of English teach Miss Sherman who pushes her pupils hard to prepare them for real life as a performer. She got the biggest cheer of the night for her song ‘These are my children’. Jorgie Porter as Iris showed why she was so successful on ‘Dancing on Ice’ during her parts with Jamal Crawford as Tyrone. Other noteworthy cast members included Albey Brookes as funny boy Joe and Stephanie Rojas as troubled student Carmen.
David de Silva produced the original screen version and this adaptation for the stage directed and choreographed by Nick Winston is just as un-apologising as the original film. I found the show mesmerising from start to finish and the quality of the performances, both acting and musically was excellent. The energy and passion in the show left everyone moved and most of the audience were up dancing by the time it came to the finale performance of ‘Fame’. I would certainly give this dramatic and entertaining show a 5/5 rating.
The recently refurbished Alexandra theatre is easily accessible by car or train and has plenty of parking nearby. We were welcomed into the bar before the show, which is a beautiful room to relax with a drink and chat to friends. A pianist on the grand piano adds to the wonderful atmosphere. It was possible to pre-order drinks for the interval using a phone app and there was a range of merchandise available in the main foyer.
Tickets cost from £14.90 to £64.40 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).
Fame The Musical is at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham from 19-24 November 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham or call the box office on 0844 871 3011.
The Alexandra Theatre, Suffolk Queensway, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 4DS