15th - 19th MAY 2018
Loughborough Echo Review
SET in and around the New York High School of Performing Arts during 1980-84, Fame The Musical follows the same storyline, albeit a very transparent one, as Alan Parker’s original film and is based on the various journeys of a crop of students from auditionees to graduates at the school.
The musical - which runs at Loughborough Town Hall until Saturday, May 19 - is not without conflict as we encounter broken hearts, bruised egos, dyslexia and drug abuse along the way but it is the exciting dance routines and powerhouse vocals that hold this musical together and there you have it in a nutshell!
Greasepaint productions, in their own words is ‘under new management’ and is showcasing some new young talent whilst also working with the established members of the company.
There are some strong performances among the principals, newcomer Yvette Healey dispels attitude and confidence as the sexy and sassy Carmen while Gemma Landers is convincing as the slightly dippy Serena who is love with serious Nick beautifully underplayed by Jonny Painting and his solo ballad ‘I Want to Make Magic’ was emotive and believable.
Joe Harrison, as streetwise but dyslexic rap dancer, Tyrone is one of the stand out performers, his vocals and dancing are faultless especially when he struts his stuff in ‘Dancin’ on the Sidewalk’.
The comedic element is injected by Chris Wilson as hapless Joe and his delivery of ‘Can’t Keep it Down’ plus his marching (echoing John Sergeant’s plodding in the Paso Doble in Strictly Come Dancing) sequence was hysterical. There were occasions, however, when the vocals became strained rather than controlled in particular when some singers were attempting reach a higher register and some of the lyrics were lost as a result.
But it is musicality that makes up for the lack of serious plotline and in terms of dance Fame is a choreographer’s dream and the ensemble dancing was fast paced, energetic and spectacular.
Fame is a musical that youngsters can relate to and the predominantly young audience cheered wildly at the final show-stopping scene.