Fame: The Musical

Theatre Royal, Brighton, runs until Saturday, November 10

THIS may be the 30th anniversary tour but Fame feels as fresh as ever.

Based on the 1980s film and TV show, Fame charts the highs and lows of students at New York’s High School for the Performing Arts as they navigate their way through adolescence.

Opening song, Hard Work, launches its cast into some challenging but very effective choreography.

It’s immediately apparent that this is a technically demanding musical, but these singers, dancers and musicians are clearly up to the challenge.

Based on the upbeat title track, you may make the mistake of thinking this musical hasn’t got much grit behind it.

While certain topics aren’t explored in as much depth as you might like, Fame isn’t afraid to touch upon sexuality, race, class and mental health.

However, with a cast of many characters, several story arcs are wrapped up too hastily.

Jamal Crawford plays Tyrone passionately and fizzes with energy as he attacks the hip hop choreography.

The big set pieces are really special with everyone performing in perfect unison but Crawford can’t help but pull focus, powerfully executing every move.

Former Hollyoaks star, Jorgie Porter is a revelation as Iris, Tyrone’s love interest.

She’s a beautiful ballerina, precise and delicate as well as showing off her well known acting chops.

Stephanie Rojas has big shoes to fill as Carmen, especially when singing stand out track, Fame which she belts out with gusto; one of the highlights.

Scene stealing Mica Paris plays Miss Sherman, the English teacher, and steals the show with her powerhouse rendition of These Are My Children.

Her husky, soulful vocal gets her a much-deserved standing ovation.

While a few songs are lacking a killer hook, there’s no doubt that Fame’s cast are hugely talented.

They could be singing and dancing to the alphabet and they’d still entertain.

Gemma Hicks-Logan