Note: This review is for the Stage Experience performance of Fame at The Alexandra Theatre.
Back after a two-year hiatus, the renowned Stage Experience returned to The Alexandra Theatre with their latest production of Fame.
Based on the 1980 iconic film which spawned a popular television series, Fame follows the final class of New York City’s celebrated High School for the Performing Arts through their struggles, fears and triumph as they navigate the worlds of music, drama and dance
Showcasing the very best in local young talent, the Alexandra’s annual Stage Experience is open to anyone aged 9-24 years old who have a passion for performance, wardrobe, stage management or behind-the-scenes technical skills. Over the last few weeks, 60 young performers and 10 technicians from all over the West Midlands have intensively rehearsed to bring their latest production to life.
And what a wealth of talent they are! A large part of the show focuses on the interweaving stories of the main cast of students and teachers, each with different talents and troubles in equal measure. There are some truly standout performances, including the studious Nick Piazza (Mason Daw), lovestruck Serena Katz (Freya Hancox), the easily distracted Joe (José) Vegas (Louis Goode) who only has one thing on his mind, misunderstood but talented Tyrone Jackson (Bradley Mutizwa), the sweet Schlomo Metzenbaum (Cree Henson) and the feisty Carmen Diaz (Laura Byran).
Indeed, there were numerous moments where I forgot that this was not a professional touring company, particularly in the vocal abilities demonstrated by individuals (Laura Byran and Freya Hancox almost blew the roof off the theatre with their powerhouse voices) and the subtleties of the emotion in the more serious scenes (Mason Daw and Cree Henson were just outstanding). However it was during the ensemble performances that the show really took on another level, with on-point harmony, well-executed choreography and a never-ending level of energy and enthusiasm that had the audience out of their seats and singing along.
There were some issues with sound in the first half – the backing tracks and orchestra drowning out the performers for some of it and the odd issue with microphones, but this didn’t detract from the overall performance.
Massive congratulations to everyone involved – I look forward to seeing many of these performers on stage in the future!
Fame will be on stage at The Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 27th August. Purchase your tickets here!