Review: Fame @ New Wimbledon Theatre

By Gemma Jamieson

The gritty story of talented students struggling to make it to the top, Fame the Musical is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a new tour, beginning its run at New Wimbledon Theatre.

Set inside a run-down performing arts school in New York, the opening song Pray I Make possesses a distinct similarity to cheesy hits such as Glee and High School Musical.

Luckily that soon changes, with an X-rated, hairy-chested performance from Joseph Giacone in Can’t Keep It Down, followed by a spellbinding, street meets ballet piece by the insanely talented Alex Thomas.

Writer David de Silva successfully depicts the journey of what it’s like to be young, talented and misunderstood. It is a celebration of love, death and all things in-between – a timeless classic, mixed with a healthy dose of Katy Perry references and smart phones.

One of the most memorable performances of the night is the hilarious Tyrone’s Rap, during which he expresses his frustration for ballet towards his love interest and class mate, Iris.

The indulgent dance routines are phenomenal, particularly in Dancin’ On The Sidewalk and the flamenco scene.

Jodie Steele gives a number of glittering performances, playing fame hungry Carmen Diaz, donning several eye-catching metallic sports outfits throughout the night alongside a nasty drug habit. Another outstanding performance comes from Molly Stewart, who shows off her sensational vocal range in Mabel’s Prayer.

The message of the musical is clear – fame comes at a high price, for all of the performing arts students.

The transitions between scenes towards the end of the musical are slightly fragmented, and the audience are left wondering what exactly happens to Carmen Diaz, one of the lead characters.

However she returns for one more dazzling performance with the cast in the final rendition of Fame, which received a standing ovation from the energised audience.

Fame is at New Wimbledon Theatre from tonight until March 1. For tickets click here.

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