This review of Fame The Musical at the Bournemouth Pavilion is courtesy of complimentary tickets given to me by BH Live
Last night I had the great joy of seeing one of my most popular musicals of all time, Fame The Musical with my Mum at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre courtesy of tickets from BH Live, the South Coast’s leading operator of leisure and event venues.
The international smash hit sensation Fame The Musical is based on the 1980 phenomenal pop culture film, directed by Alan Parker that then became a TV Series and in 1988, a musical, that follows the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts.
The story sees the starry-eyed students navigate their way through the highs and lows, the romances and the heartbreaks and the ultimate elation of life through their journey to searching for themselves and for their art.
The bittersweet but uplifting triumph story of Fame explores the truly timeless issues that confront many young people today: prejudice, identity, pride, literacy, sexuality, substance abuse and perseverance.
This year, the stellar cast celebrate the 30th anniversary of this touching, universal and timeless story of discipline, desire and determination. With an arts background, in music, I’ve long loved these elements to Fame, and witnessed so many of my loved ones go through the trials and tribulations of stage school.
Fame The Musical is a story that so beautifully portrays how so many are so passionately driven by their art. Whether it is to entertain, to leave a mark on the world, to bewitch their magical talents on those they behold, but mostly who, with their craft, ‘want to live forever’.
Fame is the epitome of an energetic musical from start to finish, capturing the never-ending fast-paced, and the intimate heartbeat of a performing arts school. However, it also skillfully balances this energy with the heavy reality that some of the students fail, where few find fame and the rest spend their entire lives desperately and obsessively mastering their craft in the hope of a big break, that quite possibly never comes.
We meet fame-hungry Carmen (the part played to perfection by Stephanie Rojas), whose drive for perfection has tragic consequences. We then have sweetly star-struck Serena (played by beautiful Molly McGuire), the student tortured by his art, Nick (played by the incredible Keith Jack), Joe (played by the brilliant Albey Brookes) the actor completely out of touch with his emotions, Schlomo (played incredibly by Simon Anthony) the saxophone protegé and a whole class of other students, all of whom yearn to be famous.
The various stories and journies of these students are supported by their performing art teachers who coax, coerce and encourage the pupils to work hard and make the most of their talents, both on and off stage. The role of the driven headteacher Miss Sherman is played by the iconic Mica Paris, whose performance of ‘These Are My Children’ was simply spellbinding and had the audience completely and utterly starstruck and speechless. Her voice and her talent is simply otherworldly and I would highly recommend catching this performance to behold Mica Paris alone.
The cast is truly spectacular for Fame, and this production proudly boasts theatre mega-stars Keith Jacks (Any Dream Will Do, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Mica Paris (Love Me Tender, Chicago, Mama I Want To Sing) and Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks, Dancing On Ice), however this production truly boasts a highly talented ensemble cast, consistently brilliant vocals and amazing choreography.
From the moment it started to the interval, and to the very end, Fame truly transported you to the intimacy of the soul-searching so many of these young people face as they journey as life pushes them to their very limits.
There are so many magical and moving moments. In her stage debut as the elegant and sweet ballet dancer Iris, Jorgie Porter plays this role with such tender ballet scenes that it truly takes your breath away. It was just so stunning to see the traditional art of ballet to be so built upon throughout the night. Coupled with the other energetic, eye-catching and exciting choreography incorporating set pieces such as desks and lockers, you are truly left spellbound how the cast remember such intricate routines. The standing ovation the cast received at the end was everything they deserved and more.
Fame is a timeless story that was relevant 30 years ago and will be 30 years from now. The desire for celebrity fame at any cost can be devastating, and we only have to look online or see it across the tabloids to see how this is so. The musical production of Fame does the most incredible job, through the synthesis of highly impactful music and dance to paint this in a truly stunning theatrical performance that will ‘live forever’ in your memories.
It’s truly no wonder that Fame The Musical has seen seven West End runs since opening on Broadway in 1988 and continues to be one of the best-loved musicals across the world.
A huge thank you to BH Live for the tickets to this most electrifying performance of Fame The Musical. How many of you have also seen Fame?
If you’d like to see Fame the musical in Bournemouth, at the Bournemouth Pavilion, the show is on until Saturday 31st August 2019. To get your tickets with absolute ease you can head to BH Live online or order them by calling 0300 500 0595.
Event: Fame – The Musical
Venue: Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth
Date(s): Monday 26th – Saturday 31st August 2019