Stella Maris Secondary School Tramore, brought their version of the eighties hit show Fame to the Theatre Royal, and wowed an eager audience with the young dreams of going to live forever. There was lots of energy on stage some great vocal and emotional moments quality choreography of show, ballet and hip hop, some excellent solos and spot-on characterisations and a zippy lighting plot. This cast rose like stars to overcome, dodgy sounds, a very restrictive set, a lack of leg-warmers, some odd costume choices and some first night nerves to deliver a memorable school show.
I applaud the decision to give the directing task to a seventeen year old – a star in her own right, Anne O’Riordan and she delivered for her young cast to the part born.
Claire Cully as Chorus Mistress gave the big numbers the star treatment as the chorus rose to the occasion and lit up the house like a vocal flame.
Fame is a feel good story of young people and these young Tramore people did themselves proud with such commitment and performance.
I would particularly like to mention the vocal work of Hannah Malone who was not directly credited in the programme as a principal but her performance was so evident.
Alex Brennan was a fine Grace Lambchops Lamb and Rob Skilton was a great guitar wielding Goody. David Kennedy brought a nice sensitivity to the role of Schlomo, who hid his love for Carmen so well at times; Lauren Corduff was good as Ms.Bell as was Patrick Roche as Mr.Scheinkopf as was Niamh Lonergan as Miss Myers.
Allana O’Neill was special as the stern but caring Miss Sherman. Chris Breheny was a natural as Tyrone and Shauna Ridgard shone as the ballet student Iris as she choreographed her own ballet routines.
Caroline Kent was excellent as Serena and she overcame sound problems in Let’s Play A Love Scene. Donal O’Flynn was quality in several difficult songs, especially the added Someone To Watch Over me. His two Try songs were special.
James Upton delivered a slick comedy routine as Joe Vegas and Denver Cuss had a wow moment as Mabel Washington in Mabel’s Prayer and then she zipped into Gold Digger and a wonderful Starmaker where the chorus shone like a flame.
Rachel Hallahan as Camen Diaz was exceptional, she was gutsy, aggressive, star-quality and her big number In LA had the emotional impact of a freight train in one of the most tender show-stopping emotional moments in the show.
Margaret Kavanagh did the principal; choreography and Cliona Traynor did all the Hip Hop routines. Laura Honan did the impressive mega-mix Showcase lighting.
Robert McCarthy took a risk with the earthy dialogue in the show and his pupils rewarded that trust with a show to be proud of.