Bristol Hippodrome

Fame

June 2019

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I wanna live forever

We all love a little nostalgia now and again and as I waited for the show to begin I was full of expectation - remembering past experiences of seeing Fame with my daughter, who at that time was full of her own dreams and aspirations. The storyline we all know and love so well is all about hope and how hard work and effort will bring success, especially when mixed with that star quality called talent.

There was certainly plenty of talent on stage and much energy in the performances, but somehow the magic was lacking, particularly in the first half. Maybe we all expected the X Factor moments offered to us so regularly in today's world of multi-media entertainment.

The first half ended rather flatly and I wondered why? Clearly there was so much talent on the stage and the performances were faultless but it was not dynamic enough for me and a member of the audience remarked, 'The story line is fuzzy and ill defined'.

Ironically as the second half opened with the cast singing with enthusiasm about their hope 'to make magic' our hopes were raised equally that we would see some.

Some highlights worth noting did fulfill our expectations. Stephanie Rojas was well cast and well played as Carmen. Jamal Kane Crawford was convincing as the character Tyrone and his dancing prowess made me look forward to his every appearance on stage, especially as he battled conflict with the different kinds of dance he had to perform showing us some lovely duets with his graceful partner.

Teacher, Miss Sherman, was performed to perfection by Mica Paris and she gained a great reaction from the audience for her moving solo performance when singing a message of hope to which we could all relate! Her voice resonated brilliantly around the packed theatre.

The music was incredible - especially from the actors on stage who incorporated brilliant drumming, sax playing and more so perfectly to their performances.

But I question whether the stage was ever full of fun or used to connect to an audience full of high expectations.

As everyone left the theatre after the graduation scene with the well recognized song Fame ringing in their ears, I wondered if it was just the pouring rain that made everyone dash home as quickly as they could.

Making my own way home on the bus I think not - for as the bus filled up with those leaving the Spice Girls concert (and despite them all being wet and freezing cold) the buzz of excitement among the passengers was what all performers would wish to see from their effort to offer an unforgettable experience and offer entertainment that will be talked about for many years to come.

I'm just not sure that was achieved at the Hippodrome, but I saw nothing bad, So if you're off to see the show, I hope your hopes and dreams for it come true.

 

Clare Hunt

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