CAROLINE CULOT Norwich Theatre Royal


> Norwich Theatre Royal

Fame costs and right here's where you start paying!

You don't actually get to hear those memorable words as uttered by Debbie Allen in the Alan Parker movie Fame in this show, but the hard work of the students (the title of one of the numbers) is indeed very much in evidence.

This latest tour marks the 10th anniversary of the show based on the real-life New York High School for the Performing Arts.

Of course, to a generation of us growing up in the '80s, Fame meant leg warmers, Irene Cara and dancing over Yellow Cabs.

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The musical is inspired from this, but don't expect the movie soundtrack, as the songs are different and to be honest, not particularly that catchy.

We do get the great number Fame – and yes even the Yellow Cab too – but not until the finale which is a shame because that's the song we all know and love and which, decades after its first release, still gives you goosebumps.

However, the entire cast of this tour are electric; fantastic dancers, singers, musicians – truly all-rounders but Craig Stein as Tyrone (the Leroy character) really brought something special to the role.

Stein is a superb, athletic dancer but also thrilled us with his rap and showed versatility with ballet too.

He and Iris (Lisa Ritchie) performed a tender and technically perfect pas de deux which was just so beautiful to watch.

Just as the dancing was fantastic, the singing also was of an extremely high standard last night, with Leila Benn Harris as Carmen (the Irene Cara role) giving a strong, gutsy performance with some beautiful voices also coming from Rachel Hale as Serena and Delia Harris as Mabel.

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