REVIEWED: Fame The Musical – Live at The Palace Theatre

Abi White | 28th July 2018

Fuelled with egos, legwarmers and lycra, ‘Fame’ the musical kicked off the first leg of their national tour at Manchester’s Palace Theatre. Recounting the journey of young adults on their way to achieving ‘fame’ at stage school, the performance is fuelled with neon lights, pounding energy and teenage cheek.


Set in the 80’s, ‘Fame’ tells the story of a group of dance, drama and music students at New York City High School of Performing Arts. Throughout the musical we learn the motivation and the backgrounds to the students, but we also learn the darker sides to their careers in the industry.

Tristram Kenton

Nick Winston’s complex choreography can be commended from the opening number ‘Hard Work’, where all cast members interweave throughout one another seamlessly. It’s an overwhelming opening number, but it mirrors the scenes and atmosphere of a real-life stage school. Similarly, Winston uses this to his advantage and cleverly encourages the cast to dance slightly out of sync.


Jorgie Porter takes on the role of teacher’s pet ballet dancer, Iris, wonderfully in her first stage debut; proving she’s still got her graceful ‘Dancing on Ice’ moves up her sleeve. Her relationship with Tyrone (Jamal Kane Crawford) explores themes of race, class and intelligence that is touched on in more depth during the second act.

Tristram Kenton

Equally, star singer in the show, Carmen Diaz’(Stephanie Rojas) career takes a darker turn during the second act, where she leaves stage school to achieve a quick route to ‘fame’ in LA.  This doesn’t go quite to plan, and Carmen returns weeks later with a drug addiction. Her rendition of ‘Think of Meryl Streep’ is an emotional performance and proves that Rojas has the vocal strength to carry Irene Cara’s ‘Fame’.


However, the star performance came from Mica Paris’ rendition of ‘These are my Children’ whilst playing the role of Miss Sherman. Her soulful voice captured the audience, resulting in a well-deserved standing ovation.


Although the story line isn’t too strong there’s never a dull moment on stage, whether it be the music students trying to pursue their dreams of having a successful band, or the comedic characters performing as class clowns.  ‘Fame’ has the audience grinning from ear to ear and on their feet for the final rendition of ‘Fame’.