Review | FAME at the Regent Theatre

Fame was staple viewing in the 80’s for everyone in Britain. Whatever you were doing at tea time on a Saturday, you’d sit down and watch the next exciting episode to see the students of the New York School of Performing Arts.

Imagine my joy then at the opportunity to review this latest theatre production as a representative of 6 Towns Radio. 

The theatre was full on opening night, with friends all as anxious as me to see if Director Nick Winston could still excite us after a break from Fame for over 30 years.  This production had some famous names attached to it, as in Soul singer Mica Paris, and TV actor Jorgie Porter, but, as talented as these two are, they were not the stand out performers on the night.

The performance got off to a loud spectacular start, which showed many hopefuls attempting to get into the Fame School, with singers and musicians. The lighting and sound were all going great and then BOOM! The stage went dark due to an unrehearsed power failure. The audience looked around at first, wondering if this was part of the show, but as an announcement was made, it became clear there were technical difficulties, and we had to wait 15 minutes for a restart.

I’m not an actor, but I’m sure that these things can’t help when performing, but if it had any effect, it certainly didn’t show. The cast started again, and with an enthusiasm to make you smile. Those going to expect a remake of your 80’s favourite will be disappointed: I must admit I was waiting for Starmaker and High Fidelity throughout the show!  It’s different, and although it follows the students through the years, it’s done through different relationships, musical genre differences, and is brought bang up to date with its themes. 

A scene from Fame The Musical Tour @ Palace Theatre, Manchester. Director and Choreographer Nick Winston. (Taken 19-07-18) ©Tristram Kenton 07-18 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email: [email protected]

Yes some of the jokes are corny, and some of the songs aren’t really necessary, but the cast gave it their all, and real talent shone through. My particular favourites were Stephanie Rojas as Carmen, who as well as singing her heart out, danced and changed throughout the show, and Jamal Crawford, who again danced continuously, and brought a modern twist to the school of Fame. Don’t get me wrong, the whole cast were fantastic, and the two headline stars Ms’s Porter and Paris were fantastic: Jorgie dancing like a professional, and there’s no doubting Mica’s voice – she’s still got it!

Aside from the electrical fault, it’s a fun evening, and at the end, without a doubt, you’ll be dancing in the aisles with everyone else. Two hours of fun, laughs and heartaches, but in the end, you’ll want to live forever!

Nikki Talbot