Fame - The Musical is one of those shows which was popping up everywhere a few years ago and then vanished off the radar.
Under the leadership of new director Daniel Storey, Splinters Theatre Company bring this old friend back to energetic life this week in a challenging production which brings out the best in its performers.
The dancing is divine, the singing superb and the characterisation captures the hopes and dreams of American performance arts students.
Aggie Gryzsel’s choreography is particularly impressive in the large chorus numbers which give the show its fizz.
Charlotte Woodward puts heart and soul into the signature tune Fame - I’m Gonna Live Forever in her role as tragic drug-addicted student Carmen.
Jennifer Horsfield’s pretty voice is well suited to Serena’s song Think of Meryl Streep which has one of the loveliest melodies in the score.
Jamie Cooke excels as the outspoken wild card Tyrone who isn’t afraid of anyone and is downright rude to his teachers as he rails against authority.
The role of strident English teacher Miss Sherman is in the capable hands of Ria Westhead whose beautifully sung These Are My Children shows a rare tenderness in the forceful character.
And Matthew Bevan in the role of likeable lothario Joe causes plenty of smiles with his take on the cheeky song Can’t Keep It Down.
The scaffolding structure on stage at Shefffield’s Montgomery Theatre adds to the sense that the students are aiming for the dizzy heights of stardom. One of the performers does a spectacular scissor jump off the top bar in a truly show-stopping moment.
Sweatbands, leg-warmers, headbands, and, of course, the big taxi on which Carmen comes back from the dead, take viewers on a nostalgic return to the 80s.
Welcome back Fame The Musical - we’ve missed you!
The production continues its run at the Montgomery Theatre until Saturday, September 26.
Photo by Nick Plummer-Walsh