Fame/Malvern Theatres


ANY parent who has trudged along to a dance festival to watch their little darling stir that old stage dust will know all about delusion.

Aren’t they wonderful, one thinks… surely a lifetime in the entertainment industry beckons without any shadow of a doubt.

Oh yes. Some of us were once the dreaded ‘ballet mum’ and indeed, on occasion, the male of the species.

You can spot them a mile off. They are all convinced that fame and fortune will favour fickle Felicity and stardom stalk stunning little Stacey. Of course, the chances of this actually happening are microscopic.

The reason why David de Silva’s song-saturated salute to wannabe showbiz works so well is because so many of us dreamers dream the impossible dream, despite the more likely outcome that your offspring will probably end up working behind the counter at the local building society.

But it doesn’t stop us for one moment. And that’s why Fame – after more than 35 boards-bashing, brilliant years – exercises such an irresistible pull. It’s deliriously and impossibly fabulous.

Fame taps into the human spirit of blind optimism like no other show. It grabs you by the lapels and hoists you into the heavens.

And this cast bursts with talent. Ryan Kayode as Tyrone, Albey Brookes as raunchy Joe… and then there’s Jorgie Porter (Iris) and Stephanie Rojas (Carmen) dancing and singing their hearts out as young women with the earth at their feet and stars in their eyes.

But the glittering jewel in director Nick Winston’s crowning glory must surely be in the imposing form of Mica Paris as no-nonsense academy boss Miss Sherman, a woman who never spares the proverbial rod to spoil the child.

This version of Fame is a total blast and should not be missed. It runs until Saturday (July 13).

John Phillpott