The Runar Borge production first opened in the West End at the Cambridge in 1995, when it was nominated for two Laurence Olivier Awards for Best New Musical and Best Choreography. It reappeared in the West End in 1998 for a run at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Its current run at the Victoria Palace - which began in October 2000 - is its second at that 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.
- by Terri Paddock