Fame the Musical Playhouse

Fame – call it what you will - the original Glee, a grown-up High School Musical - everyone knows its name and many will have seen the original movie. As someone not even born when the movie was released, until Tuesday evening at the Edinburgh Playhouse (although I had sung the songs and re-enacted the dances) I did not actually know the full story.

So, I am unable to compare Fame 2014 with any of the previous incarnations, the 1980 movie or its many tv spin-offs. But what I can tell you is that this particular show blew me away in a way that musicals don’t usually have the power to do.

While Fame is all about the music and dance, I would definitely recommend it to anyone that likes a good story, too. This show had pure delight and happiness, heartbreak, pain and shock, with just about every other emotion in between.

The positioning of the permanently visible band kept the music central to the narrative and skilful interaction between the cast and the musicians ensured that there was always a lot going on without the stage becoming too chaotic. The clever set design also allowed the story to be moved swiftly and seamlessly along so that we could stay with the plot line.

No failures in the cast, but particular congratulations to Alex Thomas as Tyrone for his energetic performance and for being a real live “Stretch Armstrong”.

The ensemble’s commitment made sure the atmosphere in the theatre held up all the way to the end and the talented performances of the “triple threat” cast made this one of the most enjoyable musicals I have ever experienced.

Kayleigh Stewart.