‘Baby, look at me!’ The opening line to Fame’s most famous song summed up the exultation of ambitious young students of the performing arts. But who could tell where the exuberance of the show’s characters began and the joy of the girls and boys performing them took over.
Audiences packed DanceEast for the four-night run of Fame the Musical, presented by St Joseph’s College Ipswich. And by the end of each performance the whole house was on its feet belting out the classic title song from the 1980 film and later used as the theme for the television series.
Fame the Musical has been brought up to date but together with the compelling songs, the story remains essentially the same: the journey of talented young people towards their goal of stardom and artistic fulfilment.
For the students of St Joseph’s College, the annual musical is the highlight of the College calendar. It is a rite of passage and an irresistible draw for the wider St Jo’s community.
With a cast of 70, plus backstage and technical crews and a live band led by the school’s Director of Music, Mr Layton, this was a lavish production.
Vice Principal Co-curricular, Mrs Harvey, said, ‘Our aim is always to deliver the best yet when it comes to the annual musical and the students – and arts specialist staff – unfailingly play their part. The show was a triumph and I could not be prouder because that success was derived from innate ability, creative inspiration and months of hard work.’
The College has also benefited from its partnership with Arts International, which brings leading performers from television, film and theatre into long-term relationships with schools and colleges, to inspire confidence, creativity and collaboration. The input at St Jo’s was particularly evident in the superb choreography of ‘Dancin’ On The Sidewalk’.
With such an ensemble piece, it is always difficult to single out individual performers. The principals were incredibly strong though-out supported by a fantastic group of core dancers. The ensemble with students aged 11 to 18 collaboratively delivered the most impressive musical theatre experience and lit up the sky like a flame!