Local theatre group takes on the 80’s classic musical ‘Fame’

Koorliny Arts Centre are staging the sensational 80’s musical Fame – The Musical this month.

Presented by Laughing Horse Productions and directed by Cat Rippon, Fame – The Musical follows the highs and lows of students at New York City’s illustrious High School for the Performing Arts.

It follows their struggles, triumphs and relationships as they explore ambition, fame, and self-confidence, finding themselves both within the school and in life, from their first year to graduation.

The story originally began as a gritty feature film in 1980 which was directed by Alan Parker. The film’s theme song which was sung by Irene Cara and won the Oscar for Best Original Song.

The story was soon converted into a weekly TV series with many of the actors from the film reprising their roles. a young Janet Jackson joined the cast of the TV show in its later years. In 1987 it was converted into a stage musical, and since then it’s been the inspiration for a reality TV show, and a new movie version.

Director Cat Rippon said she was a student at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art many years ago and now had a passion to direct talented kids.

Fame – The Musical seemed a real journey to depict,” she said. “It also has the reality of the wrong temptations out there for kids in the arts – or anyone, really – which needed to be shown against the fun and frivolities of the show.

“The show wasn’t difficult to cast at all and the talent was there from the start.

“All the kids are going through their own life journeys and the difficulty is separating their reality from their characters.

“But it makes it real – the cast were certainly invested in creating their characters, which brings the show to life.”

The director said she thinks a lot of people in the arts remember the original movie because it was quite a unique piece of work.

“I think a lot of people in the arts identify with the Fame movie because it was the first of its kind at the time,” Rippon said.

“When directing I never look at what has been done before – I tell my cast to bring their own personality to the characters because the script gives you all you need.

“I read the script three times – once as an audience member, then as a cast member to dissect the characters and finally as a director and production team member, which helps give me the knowledge of how to stage the show.

“I do all this before auditions and that way I have the confidence to live the show through the actors and everyone involved.”

Fame – The Musical plays at 8pm June 15, 16, 22 and 23 with 2pm matinees June 16 and 23. Book at www.koorliny.com.au or on 9467 7118. The Koorliny Arts Centre is on Sulphur Road, Kwinana.

Source: Media Release, Top image: Some of the cast of Fame – The Musical: Cat Maree Perez, left, Wyatt Gordon, Beth Tandy, Liam Gould and Matthias Zver, at back, and Paige Montebello and Mikayla Wyartt, at front. Second Image: Em, left, and Phil Bialas, right, get ready to make some noise in Fame – The Musical, much to the chagrin of Darren Gould, photos by Viva Photography Rockingham.

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