The Beautiful Game may have called time at the West End's Cambridge Theatre, but Fame is getting ready to test its "gonna live forever" anthem at the same address where it started its marathon existence. The nine-lives musical about performing arts students, in the midst of its fourth West End run, closes at the Victoria Palace Theatre on 8 September 2001 to make way for the hit Broadway revival of Kiss Me Kate. Fame was expected to resume its exhaustive touring schedule this autumn, but will now take up residence at the Cambridge, where it re-opens on 20 September.

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