Reviewed by Lindsay Burton
The definitive 30th-anniversary tour of Fame The Musical started with a big bang, quite literally when a set light blew on stage and all stage lights malfunctioned! In spite of the restart 20 minutes later, the show promised huge amounts of energy, flawless moves and fabulous vocals from the offset. With such a talented cast starring stars such as Keith Jack (Any Dream Will Do, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat), Mica Paris (Love Me Tender, Chicago, Mama I Want To Sing) and Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks, Dancing On Ice), how could it not!
Based on the 1980 phenomenal pop culture film, Fame The Musical is the worldwide smash hit sensation following the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts (or PA as the students call it) as they find and direct their way through the highs and lows, the romances and the heartbreaks and the ultimate elation of life, supported by friends and teachers around them. Every single cast member played their part superbly, every move was flawless, every jump sky high, every single note sung and played was passionate and heartfelt. Special mention has to go to Mica Paris (Miss Sherman) for her majestic vocal performance and soulful rendition of These Are My Children; Stephanie Rojas (Carmen) for her powerful vocal performance; Molly McGuire (Serena), Albey Brookes (Shlomo) and Hayley Johnston (Mabel) for their performances and the humour their characters brought to show and last but not least, Jamal Crawford (Tyrone) for his amazing dancing and stage presence!
This ambivalent but uplifting triumph of a show explores the challenges that face many young people today: prejudice, identity, pride, literacy, sexuality, substance abuse and perseverance. The dance numbers, choreographed by director Nick Winston, are often spectacular affairs, filling the stage with life and energy which accompanies stage designer Morgan Large’s set almost magically; the layered set, made from yearbook photos that include the cast and bright neon strips gives it the classic 80s vibe.
Fame the Musical has seen seven West End runs since opening on Broadway in 1988 and continues to be one of the best-loved musicals across the world. And, of course, there’s that unforgettable theme tune, with had the audience at the Regent Theatre on its feet by the end of the night. Fame The Musical will most definitely, live forever.
Tickets cost from £13 to £53.40 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).
Fame The Musical is at the Regent Theatre in Stoke from 15-20 April 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/regent-theatre or call the box office on 0844 871 7649.
Regent Theatre, Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 1AP | 0844 871 7649