It was going to be very difficult to follow the success of last year’s West Side Story production, but the Performing Arts Faculty has pulled it off again. Fame! is yet another spectacular show full of energy, music, dancing and outstanding acting.
The lead, Catty Holden (U6), dressed in a typically 80s denim jacket is a convincing Carmen and takes us with her on her troubled struggle for stardom. She is helped along the way by her two male admirers, the geeky privileged son of professional musicians, Schlomo, played by Jonty McConnaughie (5th Year), who demonstrates his own musical stardom by taking to the piano with such ease and talent, and the maverick Joe, played by the always entertaining National Youth Theatre student Louie Eyres-Scott (U6), who brings brilliantly timed comedy to his performance.
The scenes between dyslexic Tyrone, played by the phenomenally talented Andrew Onwude (L6), who swaggers around the stage combining jaw-dropping dance moves with singing, rapping, and a consistent Bronx accent, and his English teacher Miss Sherman, played by Catriona Kadirkamanathan (L6), are very moving and lead to a beautiful rendition of ‘These are my Children’ by Catriona which leaves the audience spellbound.
The other three teachers, Mrs Bell, ably played by super soprano Amelia McLintock (U6); Mr Myers, played by the measured Max Golledge (5th Year); and Mr Scheinkopf, played by Will Hibberd (U6), who keeps up a wonderfully comic German accent throughout his strict conducting; set the scene fabulously to keep the story going.
Throughout the performance we are treated to the ongoing will they/won’t they love story between Serena, played by Sophie Skinner (U6), and Nick, played by Caolan McConnaughie (U6), whose experience and astounding vocal range is a pleasure to listen to and matches Sophie’s beautifully silky tones very well.
The incredible choreography involved sees many more exceptionally talented dancers take to the stage at various points throughout the show, and special mention must go to the hilarious Chani Merrell (5th Year), whose consistent weight struggle sends the audience into fits of laughter on more than one occasion.
Exceptional though the students are, a huge amount of work goes on to put such a show together by a large team of staff and students, led by Director of Performing Arts, Mr Bulmer, with Head of Music Performance Mr Cooper, and Head of Dance Miss Herterich, and to run six performances just one week before term ends is an accomplished feat that will be hard to match.
You can see more photographs of the performance here