Review: Fame at the Wolverhampton Grand

Book: Jose Fernandez

Music: Steve Margoshes

Lyrics: Jacques Levy

Director & Choreographer: Nick Winston

Fame is now finishing up its 30th Anniversary Tour and this nostalgic production features a super talented class of 1984.

This new revival by Selladoor Productions reinvents the staging, with a backdrop full of  head shots of the year group, almost dwarfing the performers. This intimidating  background cleverly reflects that although these fresh young students are aiming for stardom and success, only a small number will reach the top.

Prema Mehta’s lighting design works really well with this scenic element to create a 80s disco wall of lights that make the performance full of colour. The slowly illuminating rectangles also draw focus during Miss Sherman’s song ‘These are my Children’. At the end, it reveals the whole wall where Josie Benson’s harsh Miss Sherman shares her delight at nurturing the talent in her school. Benson expertly controls the musical number and deservedly gets one of the loudest applause of the night.

The songs and story on their own are not particularly showstopping, but Director and Choreographer Nick Winston focuses heavily on the dance numbers throughout to maintain an entertaining night out. The lack of large company numbers at the start means the pace isn’t as good as the rest of the production, but once the introduction to the characters happens, the tempo picks up.

Winston’s choreography is brilliant in this piece. He covers many different genres from street to ballet and effortless works the whole ensemble to fill the stage with complex movement. What this show lacks in plot, it more than picks up with the extremely talented cast who are rarely off stage.

Leading the cast is Jorgie Porter’s stunning performance as Iris. She glides across the stage and mesmerises as she performs. Porter works well with dance partner Jamal Kane Crawford as Tyrone. Crawford is not only a great dancer, but also shares the story of this character who is artistically talented but academically challenged, very well.

The dance work and fantastic talent on the stage are what make this production. To top it off, you have a finale of the classic hit that is sure to get a lot of people up and dancing in the aisle. A new design for the musical gives a blank canvas for some clever, colourful lighting and it also keeps the space clear for the gifted company of young talent to fill the floor.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Theatre_Twittic_Value_For_Money_Four_Stars*A complimentary ticket was given in exchange for this review. This value for money rating is based on the ticket price value of £36.50 + £3 Booking Fee. For more info on this value for money rating please visit here: Introducing a new kind of rating

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