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Fame, CO2 – Mercury Theatre

What a high octane, energetic production CO2 brought to the Mercury Theatre this autumn with Fame.

Putting on a show about young performers by young performers is always guaranteed to be a treat and this was no exception. It featured fantastic dance routines which were well executed and some good strong performances all around.

I must mention the young actors and actresses playing the teaching roles, it’s always a challenge to portray much older characters alongside their peers and they achieved this with ease. In particular, Maddy Smith as Miss Sherman, she was one of the strongest performers on stage. Her stage presence and mature performance was a joy to watch.

With such a bitty show, which jumps from scene to scene, smooth seamless scene changes are a must and certainly this was what we got for this production. The stage itself was used well, maximising the use of height and creating interest at every opportunity. As well as using the auditorium to open up the fourth wall to the audience

Charlie Borg as Nick Plaza gave a charismatic performance, capturing all the ups and downs of a young actor and opposite him, Lily Dickie as Serena Katz was a good match for him.

Eddie Thorpe as Joe Vegas gave us lots of fun with his some excellent facial expressions which highlighted his cheekiness and he found the perfect comedy timing.

Toby Nee as Schlomo had the right sensitivities for this part and delivered it with great maturity and aplomb, another one to watch for the future. He was paired against Maddie Hawes as Cameron Diaz. Maddie gave us a feisty, no nonsense, young performer- hungry for Fame with lots of confidence and energy.

The rest of the cast also delivered some strong performances, whether in cameo roles or as part of the ensemble. It was clear they all absolutely loved being back on stage and performing again, which showed in the levels of performance.

The band, under the guiding baton of Phil Toms certainly delivered a good strong sound which never overpowered the performance on stage. The only disappointment on the opening night was the shocking sound issues. Microphones were going up and down or not coming on at all meaning some numbers we couldn’t hear and it caused a lot of distractions which must have been hugely disappointing for the kids.

However, huge congratulations to CO2 in probably what I believe, is one of the best CO2 shows I have seen in quite a while.

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