Review: Fame @ Palace Theatre, Manchester

Fame has been a cultural phenomenon since the 1980s.

In fact, the goings on from the New York City High School of Performing Arts has sparked movies, television shows and musicals – the latter of which just touched down at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.

With over three decades of history to draw upon and synced up with the 30th anniversary of the production first hitting the stage, it had to be amazing – right?

Unfortunately, for a show with a soundtrack that says ‘remember my name’, this outing was dangerously forgettable at times.

STANDOUT: Jamal Crawford was consistently firing on all cylinders

In particular, the first act just didn’t mesh thanks to a lack of chemistry. The cast – full of energy and enthusiasm – bravely tried to make up for it, but fell short heading into the interval.

Even the title song – which is usually guaranteed to hit the spot – fell short of its full potential before the curtain closed mid-way through.

Luckily, it was a tale of two halves.

SOAP STAR: Hollyoaks’ Jorgie Porter played the role of Iris 

The cast appeared to mesh much better and the plot flowed more consistently when the second act resumed.

Jamal Crawford (playing Tyrone) was until this point the only standout in what was admittedly a team full of talent.

Mica Paris (playing Miss Sherman) was the first to step out of the shadows as she wowed the audience with These Are My Children. Paris even received a standing ovation for her efforts, despite the fact that there were numerous numbers left to go.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Rojas (playing Carmen) was the second star to breathe life back into the production. She wowed those in attendance with a flawless version of In La before her character met an untimely death.

All in all, the second act was enough to warrant this show a mild success, even it felt like the production could have been so much more.

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