The Hexagon. Reading – until 8th September 2018
Reviewed by Nicky Wyatt
The class of ’84 at PA school in New York City bring us Fame the Musical, celebrating its 30th anniversary. Taking you right back to the 80’s, to the iconic movie that those of us in a certain age bracket remember fondly. Like the movie it is loud, full of high energy routines, plenty of hormones flying about and just a few leg warmers. With an artsy backdrop of year books and yellow cabs randomly driving up the wall.
PA or Fame school in the 80’s was the springboard of so many hopefuls with dreams and aspirations to be a star, fame being the longed for prize. Today they do X Factor and similar shows I guess. As with so many shows there is a lot going on, we only get a glimpse into the characters struggles and dreams, although it seems pushy parents, drugs, sexuality are all touched on.
Iris (Jorgie Porter from Hollyoaks) has a great chemistry and fluidity almost nymph like when dancing with Tyrone (Jamal Kane Crawford). Tyrone is without doubt the male dance star of the show his routines are superb.
The story touches on some serious issues like Tyrones dyslexia which is picked up by the formidable Miss Sherman (Mica Paris). She pushes him to his limit and she gets through to him in the end, like so many he needed someone to believe him and she did, their relationship is sound. Her pupils are the children she didn’t have and her rendition of These are my children is simply stunning, what a voice!
The other stunning voice is that of Carmen (Stephanie Rojas) so desperate to be famous and to see her name in lights she quits school and her budding romance with Schlomo (Simon Anthony) and heads off to LA having been lured by a would be agent, everyone tries to talk her out of going, she ignores them all and heads off. We see her again in a dishevelled state on the night the others all head off for their big night. Carmen delivers some big tunes including the title song Fame and I’m a survivor, sadly she wasn’t.
There are some fab dance routines in this show along with superb dancers three caught my eye Mabel (Hayley Johnson) she’s funny too with her see food diet, it was her dancing and voice that I really noticed. Two of the male ensemble Morgan Jackson and Ryan Kayode are really good, worth looking out for.
There are some really funny lines in this not least the ones delivered by Joe (Albey Brookes) he is suggestive, cheeky and slightly inappropriate but overall he is funny.
Its high energy carries the show through to it’s fabulous finale which has Mica Paris and Stephanie Rojas singing Fame, 2 powerful ladies belting out an iconic classic.
It’s an 80’s classic show that was thrilling an audience of youngsters whose parents watched the movie .