“You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying in sweat.” These words, or similar, have been uttered to budding performers since 1980, when the Alan Parker film first hit the screen.
It was adapted into a television series, then the movie was remade in 2009, where young dancers and their mothers flocked to their nearest cinema to sing along to that catchy theme song. Now, it’s been re-written for stage, and the all-singing, all-dancing show is at The Regent Theatre until 20 April.
The cast boasts names like Jorgie Porter, best known for her role in Hollyoakes and for being in the Celebrity jungle, and 80s singer Mica Paris.
The performance takes you straight back to the eighties, back to leg warmers, lycra and cheesy lyrics. It features an inception of performers, performing as wannabe performers at the University of Performing Arts.
The talented actors and actresses were perfect for their roles, Joe Vegas, played by Albey Brookes was the class clown and had everyone giggling during his scenes. Stephanie Rojas’s vocals as Carman were as fierce as her survivor personality. The most relatable character, though, for me and many in the audience, was Mabel. “I haven’t eaten a thing since breakfast!” she cries. “Mabel, it’s only 9:15”. “Dear Lord, take this hungry soul!” she whines in a southern American accent that would rival Miley Cyrus’.
Jorgie Porter, playing the role of Iris, surprised the crowd with her technicality and poise. She executed complicated choreography with ease and a smile on her face. Her relationship with Tyrone explores class and race issues prominent at the time, however we don’t get to see too much of this on stage. The play also touches on drug misuse, prejudice and sexuality, but I feel it didn’t really get to the core of any of them.
The scene that stole the show was with the spotlight on Mica Paris as Miss Sherman, where she performed These are my Children in an empty classroom; her vocals still as strong and velvety as they were 30 years ago.
The final scene saw the whole cast come back with more energy and charisma as ever for the show-stopping finale. The cast showed off their moves and tricks as Mica and Stephanie performed a powerful duet. “FAME! I’m gonna live forever; I’m gonna learn how to fly.” One thing is certain – We’ll definitely remember their name.
Buy tickets for FAME at The Regent Theatre here.