13 May 2009
I was an 80s child so remember quite vividly the film and TV programme that made the New York High School for the Performing Arts so famous.
This was the first time I'd seen the stage version, though my wife, who still loves everything about Fame, had seen an earlier take in London.
The production tells of a group of fame-hungry students from the day they learn they have been accepted from among hundreds of applicants for the school, right through to graduation day.
Along the way there are harsh lessons to be learned about life, love, tragedy and, well, reading.
There are a number of what you would term lead characters – possibly one or two too many, in fact – and they take it in turns to hold centre stage and put their feelings to music and dance.
Holly James is superb as Carmen, who brings us the most familiar Fame song of all, which the whole audience simply has to join in with, while Tyrone, played by Spin, has great stage presence too.
Mabel (Tarisha Rommick) gets the lion's share of the laughs for her portrayal of a student who, shall we say, is a little larger and less mobile than your average would-be dance star.
Fame is a little slow-paced at times, but keep faith with it, for the ending is as noisy, colourful and uplifting as you would expect and hope it to be. So much so, it might make you try doing the splits on the roof of your Southampton minicab when it turns up to take you home.
David De Silva's production of Fame is on at the Mayflower until
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