Thursday, October 6

Fame – The Alexandra, Birmingham

For those of us who grew to what passes for maturity in the eighties it’s almost impossible to hear the theme from “Fame” and not be enthralled by all the joy, freedom and liberation that tune offers. Dancing in the streets! Ignoring your parents! Dodging classes!  “Fame” was a watershed moment in our lives and re-invented itself as a watered-down TV show, a stage musical and remake. This new production foreshadows a reunion of the original TV cast soon in Birmingham and brims with all the youthful exuberance which made the original so unique.

Boasting all the best in West Midlands talent, it brings together a huge cast of 60 young people between 19 and 24 as part of the Alexandra’s Stage Experience overseen by the imaginative and inventive skills of PollyAnn Turner together with Assistant Choreographer, Olivia Wicks. It oddly doesn’t use the original characters but provides precise imitations of those characters offering parts the actors seize with style and aplomb.

There were many standout moments which sent electricity through the auditorium especially when we heard the show’s eponymous number. It was certainly a unified group effort from Mason Daw, Freya Hancox, Louis Goode, Bradley Mutizwa, Laura Bryan, Jasmine Gill, Eden Wedgbrow, Cree Henson, Eva Derbyshire, Nathan Wong, Molly Ann Bache, Molly Hopkins, Michael Pegg, William Dodd and Emily Violet-Haywood all of whom had their standout moments, and each held the stage with confidence. The music is slickly directed by Chris Newton and there is some great lighting design from Alex Johnson.

The show, which runs until Saturday, is a vibrant and delightful production offering a unique opportunity for young performers to not only share their skills on stage but to engage backstage, too. It is a project to be warmly embraced and we look forward to their next offering.

Playing until 27th August, https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/fame-stage-experience/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham/

Reviewer: Peter Kinnock

Reviewed: 24th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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