A musical theatre classic with a rejuvenated and contemporary twist. Bill Kenwrights production of this well known loveable musical, for the most part, hits the spot and leaves the audience wanting more!
The setting and scenery are creative and impactful and aid in bringing this story based in New Yorks top school for performing arts up to date in a modern and edgy way.
The band play well and with passion although at times over power the singers (this being a technical issue rather than a musical one) and as an audience we lose some of the story and emotion behind the musical numbers.
There are, without a doubt, a few outstanding performances. The role of Carmen Diaz is played by recent GSA graduate, Jodie Steele and is portrayed with an accute understanding of the challenges of the class she derives from yet channeling her passion for the dreams she wants to achieve. You can’t help but fall in love with this sassy and sexy performance.
Miss Sherman, played by Landi Oshinowo, has an incredibly powerful number in ‘These Are My Children’ and delivers a masterclass in musical theatre performance. Her understated character and mannerisms lead us to a truly powerful vocal and physical performance that leave the audience on an emotional edge.
A talented ensemble with other leads delivering strong performances including Molly Stewart (Mabel Washington), who’s solo song Mabel’s Prayer gets one of the biggest cheers of the night.
What stands out about this piece is the choreography. Gary Lloyd encompasses the traditional sense of what ‘FAME’ was but brings it into 2014 kicking (leaping and flipping) and screaming! The smooth transition between styles and the excellent execution make it a truly fantastic and feel good show all round.
If this show comes to a theatre near you then grab your ballet shoes and leg warmers and get along! FAME will have you dancing in the aisles (as well as on the sidewalk) by the end and you’ll feel like you’re “going to live forever” as you leave the theatre singing your favourite tunes!
Reviewed by Matthew Wren Andrew
FAME plays at the New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday 1 March 2014. For full UK tour dates click here