Fame – The Musical, Norwich

JOHN LAWSON Director Karen Bruce has assembled a cast of similar young talent for this latest tour of Fame – The Musical.

JOHN LAWSON

Back in the dim and distant 1980s there was a TV drama about kids at the New York High School of Performing Arts. This was art imitating life imitating art – a sort of Pop Idol for the disco generation.

This was their bid for Fame and we laughed and cried with them as they tried, and in many cases failed, in that elusive bid for stardom.

Director Karen Bruce has assembled a cast of similar young talent for this latest tour of Fame – The Musical.


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But did we care about them – or the characters they played – in the same affectionate way? Sadly not, I fear.

Talent they have aplenty, as singers, dancers and musicians to a man.

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I loved the voices of Ben Wheeler and Melanie La Barrie as Goody and Miss Sherman, the athleticism and skill of Chris Copeland as Tyrone and the chemistry between Julie Atherton and Paul Spicer as Serena and Nick.

But they have to try to breathe light into a horribly one-dimensional and cliched script and a bunch of songs which entirely fail to stick in the memory.

Not that the sound quality helped. Hearing the lyrics was often tricky in a strangely tinny vocal mix and spoken dialogue over incidental music almost impossible.

Sadly, this is essentially a one-song show – and only when that foot-tapping title song erupted in the finale did the audience finally come to life.

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