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Home > Reviews > Orbit  Theatre, Wales 2009

Review: Fame at New Theatre, Cardiff
May 28 2009 by Sarah Bunney, Western Mail

BURSTING with energy and emotion, Orbit Theatre’s production of hit show Fame the Musical is far from amateur and the young performers are already well on their way to the West End.

Widely regarded as Wales’ top amateur company, Orbit was established 40 years ago and has since staged the Welsh premieres of various musicals, including The Sound of Music and, more recently, High School Musical.

Fame tells the bittersweet but ultimately inspiring story of a diverse group of students at New York City’s celebrated High School of Performing Arts as they commit to four years of gruelling work.

Orbit’s cast of A-level and university students, graduates and established performers gelled to create an authentic and utterly brilliant showcase with a memorable score and breathtaking choreography by Nicola Boyd-Anderson.

The lead role of Carmen, a self-assured Spanish dancer with a big ego and a longing for instant fame, is played by Cardiff University student Melissa Moore, a seasoned performer who has been offered a place at the Guildford School of Acting.

In the role of timid yet enthusiastic actress Serena, Swansea-born Hannah Rix offers a strong yet soulful voice to complement the talents of her love interest Nick, played by Joe Smith.

Taking on the comedy role of Mabel, a loud and chubby dancer who’s desperate to lose weight but can’t resist food, is Chelsea Taylor-Day who injects much of the humour into the show with her straight-talking attitude and hilarious one-liners.

Stalwart Orbit members Linda Coombes and Howard Turnbull impress with their versatility and stage presence as teachers Ms Sherman and Mr Sheinkopf.

The show’s finale is hugely impressive, with a real yellow New York taxi driven onto the stage with Carmen standing on its bonnet to sing Fame (I’m Gonna Live Forever). This is an amateur production to rival West End performances.

Not to be missed.

Fame is at the New Theatre, Cardiff until Saturday. The box office number is 029 2087 8889


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