**** 4 Stars
“Fame for a new generation that will live forever!”
Its 38 years since Sir Alan Parker’s Fame the movie made its big screen debut telling the story of the students who dream of making it big in showbiz and see the New York school of the performing arts as the gateway to their dreams. Often finding the journey much harder than they could ever imagine. Its a tale of humanity, emotions, hope, love and ultimately dying for the dream.
The movie was such a success it led to the award-winning series TV transfer before David Di Silva decided to harness the power of Fame into a stage musical in the late 1980’s gaining success in the 90’s with several west end and UK tour runs of the show.
Now the much-acclaimed production house Selladoor have brought Fame back for a new UK tour prior to a West End season, and boy does it reach for the sky. This is a power house production that gets to grips with the moral of the story. The characters are well worn but this complete ensemble company deliver a fresh take on them. Local Lad Keith Jack turns in a finely tuned performance as Drama major “Nick “with a voice to match. Its charming to see Jack cast a little against type and getting his acting chops to the fore. Joining him is Hollyoaks Jorgie Porter as “Iris” who shows a whole new side of her performance skills leaving an indelible impression on the Audience. It is Soul legend Mica Paris as “Mrs Sherman” who stops the show dead with a power house performance of “These are my Children” it’s a musical moment that sparkles amidst the grandeur of the Kings Theatre and reminds us of the power of musical theatre a truly remarkable performer and performance in equal measure.
The rest of cast are able to match the leads with aplomb and its very much a mix talented cast as the show indulges in the growing trend of actor musicians, something that very few companies get right, Fame does and does so amazingly well, Alexander Zane as “Goody” is a revelation of comedy timing whilst playing the trumpet as is percussionist Louisa Beadel as “Lamb Chops”. Also shining in a comedy role is Graham Hoadly as “Mr Scheinkopf” whose accent is a revelation.
The show is Directed and Choreographed by Nick Winston and the cross over works wonderfully with sharp and concise dance moves that enhance both plot and character in equal measure, standing out from the Choreography is Morgan Jackson, such clear physical lines and fluidity he is a joy to watch.
This production has a stunning set design from Morgan Large, it a set that invokes the memories of an America high school year book that is lit inventively and beautifully by Prema Mehta that when the stars and stripes appear its pure west end. The set did go slightly amiss when the New York street lamp pushed on from stage right got stuck. Although we could see the crew trying their best to move it they may have got away with it if it were not for a member of the cast trying to give them a hand mid scene and drawing attention to the fact that said set item was stuck.
The music is especially written for the show but does feature the titular “Fame, I’m gonna live for ever” that appears in act 1 and as a barn storming curtain call finale. It’s a song that totally sums up the Fame journey, in a modern world were fame comes so easily thanks to Britain’s got talent, X Factor and the now ending Big Brother it’s a true gift to see the extremely talented Selladoor cast and company bring this shimmering production of Fame to a new generation and this is one production that may just live for ever. Get to the Kings before it’s too late.!
Fame the Musical, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh until Saturday 28th October For Tickets go to: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/fame