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Review: FAME - The Musical
Mike Elliott
BBC Somerset contributor Mike Elliott reviews FAME - The Musical, which ran at the Strode Theatre in Street between 10 and 14 October 2006.

There was a multi-megaton bomb exploding in Street for five nights, when Strode Productions presented FAME - The Musical.

It was an awesome concoction of enthusiasm, energy, hormones and adrenalin. Mainly hormones!

One of the main characters, Carmen, was superbly played by Becky Cook, who played the role as alternately a glamour puss, then just a teaser.

FAME lifted off very early in the show when Jose (James Eggleton) nearly brought the house down with an amazingly brave and erotic version of Can't Keep it Down.

As this musical is all about teenage angst, the generation gap and romance, it doesn't take much imagination to hazard a guess at the item that he couldn't keep down!

This was X-rated emotional psychology, but it never worked on Carmen who already seemed well aware of masculine drives. 

Remember my name
I'm gonna live forever

Until I was made fully aware of my own mortality by my stroke 20 months ago, subconsciously I, too, expected to live forever.

Consequently, I can relate to those words, coming from the young generation. We oldies always think that fads will fade and die.

This was said of Elvis Presley and rock and roll in its infancy, but of course it has stood the test of time and will indeed last forever.

Watching Serena, the magnificent Lizzie Foyle, I am quite prepared to believe that she will achieve fame and maybe live forever.

Lizzie has a wonderful voice, and her rendition of Let's Play a Love Scene to the disinterested Nick was exceedingly plaintive, touching the hearts of the entire audience, but not the intended recipient.

Even this was equalled, when they sung it as a duet, in a second-half reprise.

The whole production was incredibly slick, with the idea of the band working from the stage a tremendous success.

Sheila Ross led the band superbly, whilst also playing the keyboards with great virtuosity.

For me, FAME was a rarity. I just wanted it to go on and on, well into the night.

But like everybody else, I had to be satisfied with a lengthy rendition of the title song, as an encore.

Make a mental note of some of the names of these young people. Very bright futures are ahead for many of them.


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