MUSICAL REVIEW: Fame ★★★

Fame
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham 
Monday 21st - Saturday 26th January 2019

Based on the film, to which is referenced in this stage adaption, Fame has evolved into a six season tv series, based on the students of New York's High School of Performing Arts. The Musical, which journeys the students time at the school from auditions to their graduation has hints of Rent running throughout with the themes and is sure to be a entertain the masses to the majority of fans looking for a nostalgia moment from their childhoods, but for a modern audience will sure to become dated.

Set in the 1980s, our ensemble of juvenile, multi-cultural and talented performers bring us on a journey of love and heartbreak, both personal and professional, in a musical which doesn't seem to bring anything new to the way that drama school is now exposed  we now  on stage and cinema.  Nick Piazza (Keith Jack) and Serena Katz (Molly McGuire) are the love-struck couple who have secret feelings for each other and audition for their semesters production of Romeo and Juliet, and becomes predictable for those who have no knowledge of the brands previous acknowledgement in the form of the movie.   

The choreography is something of staple point to fame, and something that sadly lacks in this production even if it is trying to bring out the 'in training' phase from the characters side of the production. There was only one moment in which a very passionate Iris Kelly (Georgie Porter) and Tyrone Jackson (Jamal Crawford) dance in the second act of the play was I mesmerised and enjoyed the action on stage, otherwise everything else seemed lacklustre.

The real turning point of this adaption though was the chemistry of the two leads mentioned previously, in the form of Keith Jack and Molly McGuire, who personally seemed to shine in every scene in which they were presented. I longed for the moments they would grace the stage as we sat to watch the other students have their moments, but the moment Nick and Serena step on stage the attention is very much drawn to their arc and you can see that so much time has been spent on making these two lovers believable and not hashing out the typical loving relationship seen so often. 

Morgan Large's set design is compelling and dazzling, with professional head-shots making the back of the set look beautiful and cleverly manufactured in the moments of song with the actors headshot lit up to honour the music, and mixed with Prema Mehta's lighting design is almost like a show within itself, constantly changing and exciting to watch, though at times during this production did I sense the hint of sudden brightness to darkness during scenes. Finally, Mica Paris as Miss Sherman and Stephanie Rojas as Carmen Diaz delivered in themselves as sole performers attributes of their characters which sent chills down my spine, especially in the latter moments of the production, and their rousing rendition of the titular song as the encore had everyone on their feet, and from what was personally an odd-fuelled evening, the final performance and vocals from these two incredible women left me with a bitter-sweet taste as the curtain fell.

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