Fame Bristol Hippodrome Review:
I always think it’s a real privilege to experience those moments in musical theatre when a vocalist brings the house down with a particularly rousing performance of a song. There were several moments where this happened in this energetic production of Fame, performed by beautiful young people for beautiful young people at The Bristol Hippodrome this week.
From the off, it reminded me of a day I spent observing classes at Sylvia Young, proving authenticity from the start.
Whilst the routes to real-life fame are much more varied in 2019 and celebrity status is achievable with a YouTube channel or Britain’s Got Talent, theatre schools are still very much there behind the scenes. That’s where the real professionals push themselves to the limit against stiff competition from peers.
It’s a brutal world at times, still very much full of disappointment and the potential for vulnerable people to fall victim to con artists and drugs. There’s still barriers for people of colour, those on low incomes and definitely for people with learning disabilities. This show feels a bit quaint at times, it’s definitely of its time, but it still has an authentic and relevant voice – though 1984 clearly hadn’t quite worked out the difference between dyslexia and visual stress.
Outstanding moments included Mica Paris’ These Are My Children, Stephanie Rojas’ incredible In L.A and the entire cast with Bring on Tomorrow and of course, Fame.
There’s plenty of triple threat going on here. It took me way too long to realise the musicians on stage were actually playing their instruments, Louisa Beadel as Lambchops in particular delivering sass, rock and some great drumming.
Fame as a stage show has been knocking around for a while now, but this production is definitely worth a look. There’s a bit of nostalgia, a bit of escapism, an inspiring cast for the next generation of young performers and some fantastic vocal performances.
Fame is on at The Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 15 June 2019.