REVIEW: Fame - The Musical, Opera House, Blackpool

In the age of instant celebrity, there's a lesson to be learnt from Fame - The Musical.
The kids from FameThe kids from Fame
The kids from Fame

Talent isn’t enough, it takes hard work and there’s no quick way to get there, not if you want to make a life of it.

But the cast of this musical has bags of talent and with the non-stop breakneck pace set by director and choreographer Nick Winston, there’s no chance of them skiving at any point.

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Jorgie Porter and Jamal Crawford as Iris and TyroneJorgie Porter and Jamal Crawford as Iris and Tyrone
Jorgie Porter and Jamal Crawford as Iris and Tyrone
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Telling the story of classmates at New York’s celebrated School Of Performing Arts, the show may be 30 years old but the issues it covers are broad and enduring; race, poverty, sexuality, drugs, and ultimately how love and friendship wins through.

The plot and book lacks any real in-depth examination of these subjects, but this high quality ensemble cast more than makes up for these failings.

Mica Paris’s These Are My Children, as form teacher Miss Sherman, is soul perfection and worth the ticket price alone, and Stephanie Rojas’s grim downwards spiral as Carmen is truly heart-wrenching.

Hollyoaks’ Jorgie Porter makes an impressive stage debut as ballerina Iris, beautifully paired with the phenomenal Jemal Kane Crawford as streetwise dancer Tyrone.

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But every character on stage has their moment to shine throughout, and where some productions throw in actor-musicians with little thought to their purpose on stage, here Winston’s choice makes perfect sense, and truly adds to the action.

It’s a real nostalgia trip for those old enough to remember the TV series and film, while the fresh staging and relatable issues keep Fame on its toes for today’s audience.

Until Saturday