REVIEW: Fame the Musical Tour at Eastbourne

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From the opening line – Fame costs...and right here is where you start paying for it – to the audience jumping to their feet at the end for a rousing rendition of the hit song, Fame the Musical Tour has your feet tapping as you imagine yourself leaping around in full on pink lycra, ballet shoes and leg warmers.

Thankfully, the cast of the show pull the look off far better than I ever could and there is so much talent in the two hour production, it’s hard to know exactly where or with whom to start.

The musical – top of the bill at the Congress this week – is inspired by the iconic movie, which followed teens as they worked their way through New York’s High School for the Performing Arts studying either music, dance, drama or a combination.

The stage version was conceived and developed by David De Silva who was behind the original film and while there is no Leroy, Doris, Bruno or Coco Hernandez, there are some instantly likeable characters – Mollie McGuire as Serena, Jamal Kane Crawford’s surly Tyrone and Lampchops played by Louisa Beadel.

Hollyoak’s star Georgie Porter as Iris and Keith Jack, best known for finishing second in BBC1’s Any Dream Will Do, bring the celebrity kudos along with the wonderful soul singer and West End star Mica Paris, who absolutely shines with her recognisable and powerful voice.

But the real stand out performance for me is Stephanie Rojas who plays a struggling Carmen taking the wrong path in life and thanks to drugs, ends up bowing out of school and eventually life itself. The energy and passion Ms Rojas put into her numbers was evident and had by far the best voice of the night. Absolutely wonderful.

As well as a live band, there are also musicians in the ensemble who manage to dance and play their way through some catchy tunes – Tom Mussell, the aforementioned Louisa Beadel and Simon Anthony.

All in all, a fabulous night out and great entertainment with some excellent dance routines thanks to resident choreographer Katie Warsop, who also played dance teacher Miss Bell.

Fame runs all this week with the final performance on Saturday at 7.30pm so grab your dancing shoes and run after it.