Fame Review

The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – runs until 13th October 2018.

Reviewed by Sophie Dodworth

3***

Fame! I’m gonna live forever is a line from a song that we (nearly) all know. Some of us have seen the film, some of us have danced away to the main number from the soundtrack in a nightclub somewhere and some of us may be avid fans of the theatre production. Either way, we all have in some way, shape or form heard of this production and that must be what helps sell the show as this production, even though many a talented performer on stage, really isn’t as strong as it should be in the shape of its story line.

This 30th anniversary tour comes from Selladoor Productions. It is based on the 1980 phenomenal pop culture film of the same name. Fame follows the lives of students at New York’s High School for the Performing Arts as they navigate their way through the highs and lows, the romances and the heartbreaks and the ultimate elation of life. This bittersweet but uplifting show explores the issues that confront many young people today: prejudice, identity, pride, literacy, substance abuse and perseverance.

There is some real talent on the stage for this show. Each and every performer is super talented and multifaceted. Jorgie Porter, playing Iris, makes a great impression for her first stage production, her dancing is remarkably beautiful and really works well alongside her on stage boyfriend Tyrone, played by Jamal Kane Crawford.

Stephanie Rojas plays Latino Carmen, her character brings life to the stage but her story ends in tragedy. Her voice is stunning and her dancing strong. Molly McGuire, playing Serena must have a huge well done and appreciation shown for her outstanding voice; even managing to not falter after running up a flight of stairs. It is sweet, clear and is the definition of a voice perfect for musical theatre.

A real standout moment has to be the solo number for Miss Sherman, played by Mica Paris. The solo of These Are my Children is a real moment; the attention of the audience is evident as Paris’ tones wash over the auditorium, evoking emotions when she sings about never being able to have a child of her own. She takes the loudest applause with her when she exits after this masterpiece.

Think of Meryl Streep is another great number for the show, sang by Molly McGuire, dramatic and impactful but leaving a smile on the faces in the audience. The highlight of the show has to be the final number and the one that we have all been waiting for of Fame. All the company injects every last inch of their energy in to it and it is colourful, loud and perfectly executed.

Fame could be a much stronger piece if they didn’t try to focus on the stories of so many individuals and maybe had a more concentrated, solid story line based on fewer members of the cast. Overall the production is bright and energetic and for fans, a must see.

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