Fame will strike all the right notes in Selsey

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Fame – The Musical is the offering this year from the young talents who make up Cloud Nine theatre company in Selsey.

Their Selsey Festival production will be on Mon, Aug 15 and Tues, Aug 16, twice daily with shows at 2pm and 7.30pm at The Academy, School Lane, Selsey (tickets from Highhouse Insurance, High Street, Selsey). Sue Graves is directing, and, as part of a big family involvement, Becki Townsend is delighted to serve as production and stage manager. Together they will all be hoping to build on the success of last year’s Grease.

“Sue started the company in about 2004, I think, and she started it primarily because there was nothing in Selsey really for a teenaged group,” Becki says. She started doing pantos using some adults and some children, just really to give them the chance to see what it was like to be on stage and also to work on the technical side. For this year, we decided on Fame. Half of our cast are 18 or over. We wanted something modernish and something that was good for their age. Fame absolutely fits the bill. Even though it is from the 1980s, you find that because it is in a secondary school, all the issues are still so relevant – reading disorders, eating disorders, racism, sex, drugs, everything…. And they are all dealt with in a real way. They are not just glossed over. And also, it is a very musical musical, if you see what I mean. There is an awful lot of music in there from classical to rap and rock. And there is an element of humour in there. You don’t want people not to have a good time! There is one song that will have the audience in absolute hysterics! There is also a song called Hard Work, and it is hard work. It is a full-on amateur show. They have worked incredibly hard. It is a two-hour show and there is probably an hour and a half dancing, probably most with singing as well. They learn about team work. It has to be working together. It can’t just be about ‘me’, and they learn so much. They also definitely get confidence, and they learn a lot just by meeting different people. A lot of young lads might not think it is very macho. There is still that slight stigma attached to it, but to stand up in front of 200 people and sing a solo takes a lot of guts and confidence and determination. It is a fantastic thing to do. We did Grease last year, and two of the fathers and two of the lads came up to us afterwards, and the fathers were saying that they hadn’t been really sure of musical theatre before, but they were almost in tears they were so proud of what their boys had achieved. And you hear that and you think: “Ok! That’s why we do it!”

Cast is: Nick Piazza – Sam Townsend; Carmen Dia – Abby Robinson; Serena Katz – Mary Bensley; Joe Vegas – Daniel Townsend; Schlomo Metzenbaum – Mason Gilbert; Mabel Washington – Madison Butler; Jack Zakowski – Colin Martin; Iris Kelly – Maddi Bowley; Grace “Lambchops” Lamb – Jennifer Ainsworth; Goodmand “Goody” King – Joseph Johnston; Miss Sherman – Kimberley Duke; Ms Bell – Hannah Skelton; Mr Sheinkopf – Matthew Hoff; Mr Meyers – Scott Dowell.

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