It’s not often Stoke’s team of bits and pieces go a goal down twice against the league leaders and come back. But they did.
Norwich swarmed forward passing and shooting at speed, mostly just off target. Jack dealt with it till Onel Hernandez – is he the only Cuban-born EFL player? – a squirming nuisance of a winger, built like a pitbull, shot inside the area and possibly unsighted, only got a weak hand to it. Hernandez seemed about to celebrate in front of the Boothen but thinking this might not be a good idea veered off towards the corner flag and his tracksuited team mates. He was roundly booed for the rest of the game.
Norwich’s noisy Yellow Wall got even noisier.
Clucas headed miles over from a good position. Krul wasn’t busy. An ominous silence was settling over the rest of the ground. There were some boos at the interval. Not Bovril weather but we needed to sup something!
Then, surprise! Total turnaround. Norwich were still busy and dangerous but so were we. Ashley Williams was left free at a corner. Krul got a hand to it – but in it went. And it continued, both sides attacking till Pukki, who has scored lots of goals after failing at Celtic, found himself all alone to deflect Vranic’s delicate cross past a furious Butland. Ashley held his head in his hands.
‘We’re gonna win the league’ from the Yellow Wall.
Round the rest of the ground, a slow chant began, ‘Oh,when the reds…’ It built to a crescendo when Tom Edwards shot hard across Krul into the far corner. Now the chant was ‘He’s one of our own’. And it went on till five minutes of added time were up. Stoke defending in numbers and lobbing long balls in the general direction of Afobe who brought them down, but was on his own. Tom went off injured to a Man of the Match reception.
A team to be proud of for half the game, Verlinden and Collins, as well as Edwards. Tyrese and Harry to come?
And ref Tony Harrington had a good game, calming down the hot heads without booking anyone. Roll on August!
But it wasn’t long before it was all-systems go, and electricity was in plentiful supply thanks to an excited crowd keen to re-enact their 1980’s years watching the teen musical.
But Fame The Musical is about far more than simply singing and dancing. It shows the diversity of the people that live in the city that never sleeps, and their various backgrounds, lifestyles, romances, dreams, and heartaches. But whilst it does have its serious moments that touch on some of the darker elements of life, this production is fun, and packed with a number of humorous moments.
Featuring former Hollyoaks actress Jorgie Porter as Iris and talent show runner-up Keith Jack as Nick, the show has a youthful exuberance that is true to the original. But it’s soul singer Mica Paris who is the star of the show for me, as she dominates the stage playing Headteacher, Miss Sherman, and her rendition of ‘These are my children’ is worth the entrance fee alone. It’s loud, it’s bright and sharp, and at times, breathless, thanks to props and stage scenes ever-changing; but for all of this, it’s Mica Paris’ voice and persona that is the standout tonight.
Fame The Musical is well worth a visit up ‘Anley (duck), but is it as good as the original film or TV series? Possibly not, as I wasn’t into the characters as much as I was almost four decades ago, although Molly McGuire as Serena and the aforementioned Mica Paris’ Miss Sherman were big exceptions to this. But perhaps that’s just grumpy, pining-for-the-good-old-days, middle-aged me? Because afterwards, we walked back up Piccadilly singing the theme tune – and isn’t that exactly what you want from a slice of this musical Big Apple pie?
Fame The Musical runs at the Regent Theatre up to and including Saturday 20th April
For ticket details call 0844 871 7615 or go to https://beta.atgtickets.com/times/fame-the-musical/regent-theatre/
One of only two limited edition framed Andy Wilkinson Testimonial Card sets that has been signed by the players who appeared on that special night. This is truly a stunning collectors item.