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Search Begins For 'Fame' Stars
01 Apr 2010

In a first for Irish television, Shinawil's ‘Fame The Musical' starts on RTÉ on Sunday, April 11th and sees the country's young hopefuls put their acting, singing and dancing talents to the test in the hope of clinching a lead role in the nationwide tour of David de Silva's ‘Fame the Musical'.

Presented by Derek Mooney, the show chronicles the search for the male and female lead of Fame the Musical. The competition was launched in January, thousands of applications were received and hundreds of performers were auditioned at locations in Dublin and Cork, and in London's West End. The show is directed by Chris Power (Got to Dance) and the series producer is Linda McQuaid (The Apprentice)

In the first episode viewers will see the hopefuls being put through their paces at the auditions by actor and director Simon Delaney (Zonad); stage producer Robert C Kelly (Menopause the Musical); and West End star Jacinta Whyte (Blood Brothers). Those who impress the judges will be seen going through Fame School in episode two, an intense workshop phase. Joining the panel for the live shows will be Erica Gimpel, who starred as "Coco Hernandez" in the original "Fame" TV series.

It's here where the judges, with the help of acting coach Gene Rooney and choreographer Daryn Crosbie (Saturday Night Fever), will decide who will go through to the live TV shows and battle it out over eight weeks, on the Helix stage, live in front of the nation. The finalists will sing for the public vote to help them secure their place in the final and, in the end, two performers will be crowned the winners.

Speaking to IFTN after the announcements of the successful Fame School attendees Simon Delaney commented: “It was such a roller coaster, there were tears when you told people “yes” and when you told people “no”. I have never had a day like it. We were there until 10:00pm and it was great but it was so heavy. There are some unbelievable talents.”

Simon described the show as a way to promote a wealth of untapped Irish performing talent: “You see there is no professional music training here so [Irish artists] are going to get on a boat or a plane elsewhere. So maybe this process will make people look at that because it is a shame that they are having to get their parents to fork out fortunes to get them over to London and New York because the talent is there. These kids are eighteen and nineteen and they are coming out and delivering performances that would stop the room.”

Joe Edwards (Luke Kelly: The Performer) is the show's director of photography and it was edited at Piranha Bar.

‘Fame the Musical' will air for 10 weeks on RTÉ One at 6.30pm on Sunday nights.


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