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Review: Fame @ Lichfield Garrick

The story of young students auditioning for places at a New York Performing Arts school was brought to the stage by Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre this week.

The show portrays the different levels of talent in a large group of people – a theme which could have applied to the performances of the players.

But Fame shows up some kids who don’t make the grade – the real-life performers were all Grade A students. The dance routines are what make this show a winner. The songs and storyline aren’t quite so memorable.

Choreographer Jessica Lambert and the whole cast are to be congratulated for bringing us some spectacular routines.

Difficult to pick out particular actors from the principals, their characterisations were all excellent. I particularly enjoyed Robert Glynn as Tyrone, Charlotte Middleton as Carmen and Amy Mallaband as Serena. Grace Lambert lived up to her name as the balletic Iris and John Barakat was highly amusing as Nick.

Chris Buckle’s strong acting and singing brought the character of Joe to life and Gus Wade, Laura Mallaband and Jack Moreton were good in the supporting roles.

I would particularly like to mention Esme Wade as Mabel, the ‘overweight’ student. The song Mabel’s Prayer was one of the highlights for me. A young actress to watch for the future, I feel.

Making special appearances playing the teachers were Julie Mallaband , Tim Berriman, Dawn Welch and Steve Brunton.

Aimee Berwick’s direction and Oliver Rowe’s musical direction were, as usual, spot on.

I do have to say, however, that at times the cast seemed to be battling against the volume of the band, particularly when delivering dialogue. The band was brilliant, but overpowered the actors in some scenes.

An effervescent show packing lots of punch – well worth trying to get tickets before it closes.

Fame runs until Saturday (April 7) at the Lichfield Garrick. For tickets call the box office on 01543 412121 or book online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

The group’s next production in September is the musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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