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Youth's eternal optimism on show as workshop students tackle Fame musical
August 07, 2010

FLOURESCENT day-glo ankle warmers and dodgy hairstyles have invaded the Riverhead Theatre in Louth as the students of this year's summer workshop stage the hit musical Fame.

John Hewer, Richard Reeday and Penny Caffrey are the director, musical director and choreographer with responsibility for delivering the show in just two short weeks.

We follow the students of the New York School Of Performing Arts from audition to graduation; glimpsing snapshots of their lives as though flicking through a photo album.

Charlotte Goodlad is frighteningly effective in a role once played by Louth celebrity Barbara Dickson. James Burgess is anything but scary as the loud, wise-cracking Joe Vegas while Amy Wilson introduces us to a tender Serena Katz, especially when she sings Let's Play A Love Scene.

Emily Bennett is the antithesis of tender, delivering a barnstorming version of Mabel's Prayer that justifiably prompted ecstatic cheers from the audience.

Fame is synonymous with dance and Connor Bannister is the man with all the moves as the streetwise Tyrone Jackson.

Yet, for my money, Natalie Clark steals the show as the sassy but vulnerable Carmen Diaz who dreams of making it big in the showbiz world.

She gives voice to her dreams in There She Goes! before going on to lead the cast in a rousing version of the show's legendary theme tune.

Yet, fate leads her along the boulevard of broken dreams and sadly, she ultimately pays with her life.

In spite of this tragedy, Fame's strength lies in its positivity and the eternal optimism of youth and is a show abundant in excitement, high spirits and energy.

Trevor Ekins

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