Fame at Alexandra Theatre - Review

Fame at Alexandra Theatre - Review


Posted 2022-08-25 by Alison in Birmingham follow

Thu 25 Aug 2022 - Sat 27 Aug 2022

Fame seems a fitting production for this year's Alexandra Theatre's renowned Stage Experience. After all, the annual show famously takes ambitious, talented young people to give them a chance to shine on stage.

The likes of Brummie comedian Joe Lycett is a former Stage Experiencer so it's not an amateur scheme to be sneezed at. After spectacular shows like West Side Story, this year it returns from a covid three-year gap with another popular musical - Fame .

Based at New York's school for burgeoning musicians, dancers and actors, Fame was the must-watch show of my childhood. I'd cram around the TV with my brothers and sister, sometimes maybe even with a headband on, dreaming of dancing on top of a yellow taxi and declaring how we wanted to live forever and learn how to fly, high.

But as the latest alumni of Stage Experience tread the boards, will their performances be enough for the audience to remember their name?

Fame, which is on at Birmingham Alexandra Theatre over three days from August 25 to 27, features "the best in West Midlands talent" according to the promotions. They've had just two weeks to pull off this show.

Hundreds were auditioned to whittle it down to the final few dozen, in an uncannily similar way to those at the High School for the Performing Arts they are depicting.

Navigating through various struggles, romances and issues like drug addiction and illiteracy, the plot flows along happily in Act One before moving on to darker themes after the interval

It's dotted with big song and dance numbers, allowing all the young cast chance to shine. The score includes Dancin On The Sidewalk and Bring On Tomorrow and of course a big finale of Fame.

Among those we get to know in more detail are streetwise Tyrone (a likeable Bradley Mutizwa) and lovestruck Serena, played by impressive Freya Hancox, whose voice in Let's Play A Love Scene catches everyone's breath.

Stage Experience is always good to predict stars of the future and some of the most natural on stage included Cree Henson as Schlomo, Laura Byran as ultra ambitious Carmen who gets the honour of singing the title song, and Mason Daw, who once starred alongside David Tennant and Martin Clunes in The Nativity.

There's young recruits doing some of the behind-the-scenes work too who deserve a mention. While sometimes the microphone levels may be a bit loud due to the inexperience of the singers, the energy and enthusiasm can't be faulted.

While theme tune Fame is the most familiar, there's plenty of emotion, much to like and certainly names you'll remember in this entertaining show.

RATING: & #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9734 ;& #9734 ;

**As an aside, the real kids from the original 1980s Fame TV show will be performing at Birmingham Town Hall for the Fame UK Reunion 2022: 40th anniversary from September 8 to 10. [LINK=https://bmusic.co.uk/events/fame-uk-reunion-2022-40th-anniversary]More information from B:Music here.


!date 25/08/2022 -- 27/08/2022
70736 - 2023-01-26 01:48:59


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