On the 29th of January, a very special performance brought the community of Shrewsbury together to enjoy the 1980’s American classic, ‘Fame’, held at the Theatre Seven. When entering the auditorium, jazz music was being played in the background as musicians were warming up for the best two hours and forty minutes, to give the audience a sense of what was going to be played.
‘Fame’, which is about young men and women auditioning for coveted spots at the New York High School of Performing Arts, was performed to pure perfection. The acting was out of this world and didn’t feel like a live performance, due to how pure and strong everyone was performing. It was like watching a film. It was great how every character had different personalities and how they contrasted with other characters, especially with Carmen's character and her terrible situation. This really got me feeling her storyline. The choreography was sensational, with difficulty in each jam-packed routine from ballet to hip hop, working together as a unit in sync and incorporating props within each scene. It made me want to get up and dance alongside them, but I don’t think I could keep up.
The singing was outstanding and never missed a beat and the vocal range was astonishing. All pitch perfect. The way they emphasised each song was like watching it in the West End. They weren’t just singing, but you could actually see the emotion throughout the songs with their actions. Each song made me feel either happy or made me cry. There was music from a saxophonist, a cornet player, a pianist and a drummer. That was definitely a high note of the production.
The 80’s costume changes under pressure were incredible, nothing tearing or falling off. Makeup and hairstyles were so accurate and the main factor that contributed me to get emotionally involved in the performance, due to the effort finding out what they wore in that era.
The stage was minimalistic in how it was laid out, with reinforcing an American school, with lighting rigs on either side, suspended panels (a yearbook) and movable stairs. Simplicity is the best and it can really test an actors ability and the stage was used to its fullest. The movement between each scene was astonishing, especially with the stairs. I was on the edge of my seat due to how smooth and spectacular it was. The lighting went within the emotions and would fade in and out depending on the situation, especially with Tyrone and Iris's heart to heart scene.
I personally felt like I was part of the performance myself, as I know the time and effort put into rehearsing and preparing for productions. With never watching ‘Fame’ before, I understood the plot and the whole performance really well, making me laugh and cry.
Some of the audience members were talking within the performance which interfered with the whole ‘Fame’ experience. The audience looked like they thoroughly enjoyed the performance, due to how they were engaged within the performance, laughing and tissues being filled with tears.
Overall, what a performance to remember for the price of £20.50 to £45.50! Incredible and truly inspirational. The acting, singing, choreography and the sheer professionalism made ‘Fame’ come alive!