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Review: Fame The Musical – An Energetic Show With A Talented Cast

The latest musical at Cardiff’s New Theatre is an energetic adaptation of ‘80s classic, Fame. The musical features a cast of outstanding dancers, singers and musicians along with the film’s Oscar-winning title song. This lively show opened tonight (Monday 24 September) at Cardiff’s New Theatre as part of a UK tour.

The story follows the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts from the day they are accepted until their graduation. Snippets of their lives are shown, revealing their goals and desires as well as highs and lows, from academic pressures to substance abuse. The cast are incredibly talented in all areas, providing consistent vocals, acting and dancing.

This format allows the show to tell many stories, due to this however some characters lack focus, for example spending more time on the relationship between Carmen and Schlomo would have provided more emotional weight. Yet the relationship between Jamal Kane Crawford’s Tyrone and Iris – Hollyoaks’ Jorgie Porter in her stage debut – was beautifully portrayed. Parts of their story are told through tender ballet scenes, some of which received the loudest cheers of the night.

Other strong performances came from were Stephanie Rojas as Carmen, who was able to portray a bubbly and likeable student before a poignant performance when her story turned to tragedy. Keith Jack’s vocals as Nick Piazza were impressive, even more so when paired with Molly McGuire as Serena. Mica Paris’ performance as the firm but fair Miss Sherman was show-stopping, with brilliant stage presence and incredible vocals.

Nick Winston’s Choreography wass energetic, eye-catching and exciting, perfectly incorporating set pieces such as desks and lockers to ground the show firmly in its school setting. Also setting the scene were ambient sounds of bustling streets played before the musical began, transporting the audience to New York. The set itself was impressive, two large walls of yearbook photos of the cast which lit up effectively and provided a pleasing backdrop.

Fame – The Musical is an energetic musical with a highly talented ensemble cast, brilliant vocals and amazing choreography. It plays at Cardiff’s New Theatre from 24 – 29 September and tickets are available from the Box Office on (029) 2087 8889 and here.

Review by Alys Jones

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