Fame the Musical

Fame! I'm Gonna Live Forever! The eternally inspiring story of the kids from New York's School for the Performing Arts. The show follows one group of students from auditions to their graduation ceremony, taking audiences through the highs, lows, friendships, romances and sheer hard work that is daily life for the star-struck pupils in their quest for success. For some it is too much, but ultimately tragedy and triumph combine in a spectacular finale that has prompted standing ovations around the world.

Musical conceived David de Silva, with music by Steve Margoshes, lyrics by Jacques Levy, and book by Jose Fernandez. Title song 'Fame' written by Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore.

Original West End London Production - 1995 to 1996

1st West End London Revival - 1997 to 1999

2nd West End London Revival - 2000 to 2006

3rd West End London Revival - 2007

London Revival - 2019 to 2020

Originally devised and conceived David de Silva, the 1980 film version - directed by Alan Parker with a screenplay by Christopher Gore - won two Oscars: 'Best Original Song' for 'Fame'; and 'Best Original Score'. A television series was then produced and broadcast for six seasons from 1982 through to 1987 which won three Golden Globe Awards: 'Best Comedy or Musical; Television Series' twice; and 'Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy or Musical Television Series' for Debbie Allen. In 2009 a new film, loosely based on the original 1980 version, was released that was directed by Kevin Tancharoen with a screenplay by Allison Burnett, based on the original by Christopher Gore.


Original West End London Production - 1995 to 1996

Previewed 16 June 1995, Opened 27 June 1995, Closed 28 September 1996 at the Cambridge Theatre

The original cast featured Gemma Wardle as 'Serena Katz', Richard Dempsey as 'Nick Piazza', Marcos D'Cruze as 'Joe (Jose) Vegas', Lorraine Velez as 'Carmen Diaz', Scott Sherrin as 'Tyrone Jackson', Josefina Gabrielle as 'Iris Kelly', Sonia Swaby as 'Mabel Washington', Jonathan Aris as 'Schlomo Metzenbaum', Nicola Bolton as 'Grace (Lambchops) Lamb', Alastair Willis as 'Goodman (Goody) King', Miquel Brown as 'Miss Sherman', Vivien Parry as 'Miss Bell', Harry Landis as 'Mr Sheinkopf', and Bill Champion as 'Mr Myers', with Phyllida Crowley-Smith, Gina Lee Lincoln, Pili, Sarah-Louise Warden, Alistair David, David Lee, James Murdoch, Danny Teeson, Julie Carlton, David Danns, Maria Lopiano, Marcia Mullings, and Bryn Walters. Booth singers: Gerart Bentall, Andrew Bolton, Vinnette Cowan, and Leigh-Ann Regan.

Directed by Runar Borge with choreography by Lars Bethke, sets by Svein Lund-Roland, costumes by Liz da Costa, lighting by Michael Hallbert, and sound by Terry Jardine.

"Wild horses couldn't have dragged me away from Fame The Musical, though it must be said that afterwards it felt like I'd been trampled by some. Fame The Musical is the tale of a batch of dramatic art students who want FAME! at any cost, and race about in decrepit leotard-and-shorts ensembles to prove it... Despite this, Fame The Musical is a feel-good triumph." The Mail on Sunday

"Fame is already famous as a film and a television series. Now it has been turned into a stage musical... What we are left with is calculated compassion, fabricated uplift, cast-iron, reinforced-concrete sentimentality - and, to be fair, some skilful bounding around and lots and lots of energy. Most of the young cast show talent; let us hope they go on to apply it to better things." The Sunday Telegraph

"The rock and gospel version of the television series cloned from the original movie is full of the insatiable yearning that drives so many modern musicals... The relentless enthusiasm is tempered by a little conflict: the nominal leads in a company show are a pupil who goes to the bad, and another who nearly does. A teacher stands up for the values of an all-round education. There is, however, a sense of diminishing returns as each emotional and musical climax gets more frenetic. To judge by the screaming, this is the perfect sixth-form treat." The Sunday Times

Fame in London at the Cambridge Theatre previewed from 16 June 1995, opened on 27 June 1995, and closed on 28 September 1996


1st West End London Revival - 1997 to 1999

Previewed 10 November 1997, Opened 11 November 1997, Closed 17 January 1998 at the Victoria Palace Theatre
Returned 15 October 1998, Closed 16 January 1999 at the Prince of Wales Theatre

The cast at the Victoria Palace Theatre featured Kimberley Partridge as 'Serena Katz', Chris Lennon as 'Nick Piazza', Kev Orkian as 'Joe (Jose) Vegas', Lucy Williamson as 'Carmen Diaz', Neil Johnson as 'Tyrone Jackson', Rebecca Reaney as 'Iris Kelly', Jacqui Dubois as 'Mabel Washington', Paul Lyons as 'Schlomo Metzenbaum', Nina French as 'Grace (Lambchops) Lamb', Christopher Howell as 'Goodman (Goody) King', Michelle Dixon as 'Miss Sherman', Mazz Murray as 'Miss Bell', Michael Bell as 'Mr Sheinkopf', and Mark Faith as 'Mr Myers'.

The cast at the Prince of Wales Theatre featured Kimberley Partridge as 'Serena Katz', Andrew Langtree as 'Nick Piazza', Marcos D'Cruze as 'Joe (Jose) Vegas', Lorraine Velez as 'Carmen Diaz', Adrian Hansel as 'Tyrone Jackson', Rebecca Reaney as 'Iris Kelly', Ruby-Marie Hutchinson as 'Mabel Washington', Paul Lyons as 'Schlomo Metzenbaum', Nina French as 'Grace (Lambchops) Lamb', Tom Newman as 'Goodman (Goody) King', Michelle Dixon as 'Miss Sherman', Zoe Tyler as 'Miss Bell', Michael Bell as 'Mr Sheinkopf', and James Earl Adair as 'Mr Myers'.

Directed by Runar Borge and choreography by Lars Bethke, re-staged by Karen Bruce, sets by Svein Lund-Roland, adapted by Adrian Rees costumes by Liz da Costa, lighting by Graham McLusky, and sound by Paul Farrah.

This was the original touring production, based on the original West End staging, that came back to the West End for two limited seasons as part of a major regional tour, re-staged by Karen Bruce with an adapted touring set by Adrian Rees.


2nd West End London Revival - 2000 to 2006

Previewed 28 September 2000, Opened 3 October 2000, Closed 8 September 2001 at the Victoria Palace Theatre
Transferred 20 September 2001, Closed 31 August 2002 at the Cambridge Theatre
Transferred 6 September 2002, Closed 29 April 2006 at the Aldwych Theatre

The original cast at the Victoria Palace Theatre featured Nicola Dawn as 'Serena Katz', Robert Miller as 'Nick Piazza', George Clayton as 'Joe (Jose) Vegas', Rebekah Gibbs as 'Carmen Diaz', Tee Jay as 'Tyrone Jackson', Becks Hanks as 'Iris Kelly', Mazz Murray as 'Mabel Washington', William Wolfe Hogan as 'Schlomo Metzenbaum', Samantha Berrisford as 'Grace (Lambchops) Lamb', Stuart Dawes as 'Goodman (Goody) King', Golda Rosheuval as 'Miss Sherman', Leigh-Ann Regan as 'Miss Bell', Halcro Johnston as 'Mr Sheinkopf', and Mark Faith as 'Mr Myers'.

Directed and choreographed by Karen Bruce, sets by Svein Lund Roland, adapted by Adrian Rees, costumes by Boo Williams, lighting by Graham McLusky, and sound by Whizz.


3rd West End London Revival - 2007

Previewed 4 May 2007, Opened 8 May 2007, Closed 1 September 2007 at the Shaftesbury Theatre

A major revival of Fame the Musical in London starring Natalie Casey and Ian 'H' Watkins

The original cast featured Natalie Casey as 'Serena Katz', Ian 'H' Watkins as 'Nick Piazza', George Maquire as 'Joe (Jose) Vegas', Natalie Kennedy as 'Carmen Diaz', Desi Valentine as 'Tyrone Jackson', Danielle Cato as 'Iris Kelly', Fem Belling as 'Mabel Washington', Matthew Thomas as 'Schlomo Metzenbaum', Natalie Hope as 'Grace (Lambchops) Lamb', Kevin McGuire as 'Goodman (Goody) King', Jacqui Dubois as 'Miss Sherman', Emma Francis as 'Miss Bell', Phil Cole as 'Mr Sheinkopf', and Michael Gyngell as 'Mr Myers'.

Directed and choreographed by Karen Bruce with designs by Morgan Large, lighting by Adrian Barnes, and sound by Gareth Owen.

Natalie Casey is best known for television roles as 'Donna' from the BBC comedy series Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps; and 'Carol Groves' in the Channel 4 drama-series Hollyoaks.

Ian 'H' Watkins was a member of the pop group Steps. His West End theatre credits include playing the title role in Bill Kenwright's revival of the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London Theatre (now called Gillian Lynne Theatre) in 2004.

Karen Bruce's London theatre choreography credits include the Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie musical Footloose at the Novello Theatre in 2006; and the Philip Henderson, Stephen Clark and Kuljit Bhamra musical The Far Pavilions at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2005.

"'You want fame? Well, fame costs, and right here is where you start paying - in sweat!' That highly dramatic salutation, delivered to new students at the New York High School for the Performing Arts at the start of the TV series Fame, remains one of the 1980s' defining catchphrases... The fact that the line isn't included in the stage musical version, back in the West End for the umpteenth time since its 1995 London premiere, tells you everything you need to know about this shoddy, shameless spin-off. Punters are lured in with the promise of something tried and tested, a winning formula celebrating youth at its most bright-eyed - but then they're not given the basics: decent storyline, characters to care for, favourite songs, or memorable replacements... The whole botched-together enterprise should be bulldozed forthwith - it's a blot on the West End." The Daily Telegraph

"The supposed star names are H from Steps, now rebranded as Ian 'H' Watkins, and Natalie Casey from the sitcom Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps... Casey has a surprisingly loud singing voice but her attempts at shambling comedy belong firmly on the small screen. With Watkins, it's very hard to care whether he is on stage or not. The production has it moments, based mainly on the energy of a talented cast such as Natalie Kennedy as a sassy Hispanic student who falls prey to drugs, Fem Belling as the girl who wants to eat for ever and Jacqui Dubois as a teacher who brings dignity to the most nauseatingly saccharine song I have ever heard in a musical. But most of the ego-driven kids are so obnoxious that it's hard even to engage with the leaping, legwarmered chorus." The Daily Express

"Here we are back in the uncool 1980s, watching a collection of youngsters with excruciating faux-American accents setting out to conquer the big city... The dialogue and the lyrics are, in fact, the sort of tat that could have been cobbled together by Jade Goody and her mum on a quiet night in the hot tub. Apart from the title song - taken from Alan Parker's engaging, high-energy film - there is not a single memorable number in the entire show. Desi Valentine brings some much-needed dynamism to the part of Tyrone... Fem Belling makes the most of her gospel anthem. The rest of the performances are woefully underpowered. But then Steve Margoshes's music and Jacques Levy's lyrics are just about beyond saving anyway." The Times

The musical Fame in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre previewed from 4 May 2007, opened on 8 May 2007, and closed on 1 September 2007


London Revival - 2019 to 2020

Previewed 11 September 2019, Opened 12 September 2019, Closed 19 October 2019 at the Peacock Theatre
Returned 23 December 2019, Closed 26 January 2020 at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

A major new production of the musical Fame in London starring Keith Jack and Jorgie Porter

The cast at the Peacock Theatre featured Molly McGuire as 'Serena Katz', Keith Jack as 'Nick Piazza', Albey Brookes as 'Joe (Jose) Vegas', Stephanie Rojas as 'Carmen Diaz', Jamal Kane Crawford as 'Tyrone Jackson', Jorgie Porter as 'Iris Kelly', Hayley Johnston as 'Mabel Washington', Simon Anthony as 'Schlomo Metzenbaum', Louisa Beadel as 'Grace (Lambchops) Lamb', Alexander Zane as 'Goodman (Goody) King', Mica Paris as 'Miss Sherman', Katie Warsop as 'Miss Bell', Duncan Smith as 'Mr Sheinkopf', and Spencer Lee Osborne as 'Mr Myers', with Serina Mathew, Courtney George, Morgan Jackson, Tom Mussell, and Daisy Edwards.

The cast at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre featured Molly McGuire as 'Serena Katz', Keith Jack as 'Nick Piazza', Albey Brookes as 'Joe (Jose) Vegas', Stephanie Rojas as 'Carmen Diaz', Jamal Kane Crawford as 'Tyrone Jackson', Kira Malou as 'Iris Kelly', Hayley Johnston as 'Mabel Washington', Simon Anthony as 'Schlomo Metzenbaum', Louisa Beadel as 'Grace (Lambchops) Lamb', Alexander Zane as 'Goodman (Goody) King', Josie Benson as 'Miss Sherman', Katie Warsop as 'Miss Bell', Duncan Smith as 'Mr Sheinkopf', and Spencer Lee Osborne as 'Mr Myers', with Serina Mathew, Courtney George, Morgan Jackson, Tom Mussell, and Daisy Edwards.

Directed and choreographed by Nick Winston, with designs by Morgan Large, lighting by Prema Mehta, and sound by Ben Harrison.

Jorgie Porter is best known for her role as 'Theresa McQueen' in the Channel 4 television drama series Hollyoaks.

Keith Jack was a finalist in the 2007 BBC television show Any Dream Will Do in which the public voted to choose who would play the title lead in a new West End production of the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Nick Winston's West End theatre choreography credits include the Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan musical Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre in 2017; and the Elliot Davis and James Bourne musical Loserville at the Garrick Theatre in 2012.

The musical Fame in London at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre from 23 December 2019, and closed on 26 January 2020