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Home > Reviews > Nottingham UK Review 2009
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March 11, 2009

FAME tells the tale of students of the famous New York School for Performing Arts as they discover their talents and their failings, both in the arts and in life. This production had the grittiness of the original 1980 film, with the humour of the family friendly TV show that followed.

From the minute the dancers burst on stage, this was high-octane entertainment. Choreographer and director Karen Bruce has captured all the pent-up energy and frustration of youth and the dancers do her proud.

Cramming the characters' personal and educational four-year journey into a couple of hours isn't easy. But clever casting meant the audience quickly got a feel for the characters, and their friendships and love affairs unfold seamlessly – except for that of Serena and Nick, which struggles along until the inevitable.

With such a fantastic cast it is hard to pick out individuals for praise. But Nikki Davis Jones (Serena) – she reminds you of Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson, neighbour Cheryl in The Royle Family) – has a fantastically expressive face and great comic timing, and her voice shines in her solo pieces; Danielle Cato (Iris Kelly) is the haughtily graceful ballet dancing snob who falls in love with the illiterate boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Tyrone Jackson (Spin); Tarisha Rommick, who plays 'fat girl' Mabel, also injects humour and has an outstanding voice; Beverley Trotman (Miss Sherman) – a finalist in The X Factor 2007 – excels in the 'sung' argument between her and Miss Bell (Nottingham's Claire Poyzer).

It is rare that you can really describe a show as faultless, but this one is.

Fantastic choreography, superb singing, excellent casting and acting… a top-notch show. Don't miss it.

KAREN SHALE

 

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