Reviewed by Kim Bickerdike
I turned up with my parents to the Liverpool Empire theatre excited to watch a fun and energetic dance spectacular. My parents had watched Fame the television series during the 1970s and had enjoyed it week after week. The theatre was three quarters full and there wasn’t the usual excitement from the audience that there has been during my many previous visits to the Liverpool Empire.
The show started and right from the outset I was slightly confused and struggled to find or follow any thread of a story. Early on we were introduced to the main cast who were students at a theatre and dance school in the 1980s. There were references to The Bronx which led us to believe that the show was set in New York, however this was never really clarified. I was also shocked at the sexual innuendos and the bad language that was used throughout. This is definitely not a family friendly show.
The production follows the students as they undertake their final year and work towards graduation. Throughout the performance there were numerous musical numbers although other than the title track ‘Fame’ we were not familiar with any of the songs and due to the forced and attempted New York accents it was difficult to understand what was being said.
The cast were enthusiastic throughout the whole performance and each member put in a lot of effort. The lack of story, frantic set changes and limited knowledge of the characters led to a confusing emotional disconnect to the characters. I feel there is potential to make this a fun and effervescent show but in its current format it is incomprehensible. This production would really benefit from some character development.
The stand out performance of the night was Tyrone. His dancing was by far the best and he was the character who stood out the most to me.
Unfortunately, I can only offer this show 2.5 stars out of 5.
Tickets cost from £13 to £59.40 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).
Fame the Musical is at the Liverpool Empire from 11-16 March 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/liverpool or call the box office on 0844 8713017.
Liverpool Empire, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017