Fame The Musical @ The Regent Theatre, Hanley

Fame the Musical is currently touring the UK with its 30th Anniversary tour, and this week sees it’s socks set foot in the Regent Theatre, Hanley. It’s the well-known and well-loved story of students from the New York City High School of Performing Arts, and is a high octane, high energy night of music, dance, and fun was expected by tonight’s big Potteries audience, and that’s exactly what we got, despite a fifteen minute sojourn at the start of the night thanks to a power failure.

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/