Fame... is it all it’s cracked up to be?
It’s the big goal for the youngsters portrayed in the stage classic Fame – The Musical, the international sensation following the lives of students at New York’s High School for The Performing Arts as they navigate their way through the highs and lows, the romances and the heartbreaks and the ultimate elation of life (Theatre Royal Brighton, Monday, November 5-Saturday, November 10).
Delivered as a bittersweet but uplifting tale of triumph, the show explores issues just as relevant today as they were back in the 80s: prejudice, identity, pride, literacy, sexuality, substance abuse and perseverance… plus, of course, the quest for fame.
Among the cast is former Hollyoaks star Jorgie Porter as Iris Kelly.
“The students discover that fame isn’t all they think it is going to be,” says Jorgie who admits that sometimes she would just like to sit in a café alone.
“But then you get people recognising you, and people think they know you and that you are best friends… But when people come and speak, sometimes I am still thinking ‘Do I know you? Are you a cousin I have forgotten about?’ You forget that people know who you are and you might not know who they are!”
Jorgie was on Hollyoaks for eight years until a couple of years ago, as Theresa McQueen in the Channel 4 drama serial. Her nominations included Best Serial Drama Performance at the National Television Awards and Best Newcomer at the British Soap Awards.
“It was all my 20s growing up. It was a huge family we were part of, and I had the best time. It was great. I laughed every single day. It wasn’t pressure. I loved the photo shoots. I loved dressing up as somebody else.”
It was what she was destined to do in a way: “I started as a three-year-old at stage school. My mum would take me every week.”
And now it’s coming full circle. As she says, she always wanted to come back to the stage and do it properly. Other commitments have been in the way.
“I was at college and I was doing dance at college. It was what I loved to do. This show now is like my college dream growing up.”
Jorgie was a contestant on the seventh series of Dancing On Ice on ITV and made it all the way to the final where she finished runner-up, returning for Dancing On Ice: Champion Of Champions. Now she is dancing again.
“I’ve not had a chance to perform ballet for a long time. It’s what I originally trained in, so I’m looking forward to getting my ballet shoes on.
“It is just great to do. I have literally done everything I ever wanted to do. I have ticked all the boxes now!”
The show, from Selladoor Productions, sees Keith Jack and Mica Paris alongside Jorgie Porter.
Keith Jack, playing Nick Piazza, is best known as runner-up on BBC1’s Any Dream Will Do. His extensive theatre credits include: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour) Only The Brave (Edinburgh Festival) Sincerely Mr Toad (Edinburgh/Greenwich) HMS Pinafore (UK Tour) Forever Plaid (St James Theatre, London) and many pantomimes across the UK.
Mica joins the cast as Miss Sherman. Most recently, Mica recorded a new single in honour of Ella Fitzgerald with Guy Barker orchestra.
Tickets on www.atgtickets.com/brighton on 0844 871 7650.