Perhaps it is going to live forever - Fame, the nine-lives musical which recently returned to the West End for a fourth run, has announced another extension. The show opened at the Victoria Palace on 3 October 2000 (previews from 28 September) and had been booking up to 3 March 2001. Producers have now announced a six-month extension and are taking bookings up to 29 September 2001.

The Runar Borge production first opened in the West End at the Cambridge Theatre in 1995, when it was nominated for two Laurence Olivier Awards for Best New Musical and Best Choreography. Its last appearance in the capital was in 1998 at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Its current run at the Victoria Palace is its second at the venue, where it also played in 1997. In between West End engagements, Fame has been touring the country virtually non-stop.

Set over four years, Fame takes audiences through the daily highs and lows, the romances and sheer hard work faced by the star-struck pupils of New York’s legendary High School for the Performing Arts. The stage show is inspired by Alan Parker's 1980 Oscar-winning film of the same name, as well as the popular American television spin-off, which ran for six seasons and was aired in 68 countries worldwide.

The original High School for the Performing Arts boasts an impressive list of graduates, including Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino, Suzanne Vega and Jerome Robbins. Its success has made it a model for a number of arts schools in Britain, including the Liverpool School for the Performing Arts founded by Paul McCartney. And the musical has inspired no end of crazes for leg-warmers and dancing on yellow taxis!

Fame has music by Steve Margoshes, lyrics by Jacques Levy and a book by Jose Fernandez. It is directed by Karen Bruce. The current cast features Rebekah Gibbs, Tee Jaye, Nicola Dawn, Robert Miller, Becky Hanks and Mazz Murray.

- by Terri Paddock