Running from April 8 to 13, the musical is based on the 1980 film and follows 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.
Hollyoaks favourite Jorgie Porter, who was a runner-up in the seventh series of Dancing on Ice, is touring with Fame in her first role in musical theatre.
“It’s a young girl’s life in the world of wanting to make it and be famous,” she says, explaining her character, ballerina Iris Kelly. “It’s quite similar to what I went through.,” she laughs.
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“I spent three years in the Hammond Dance School in Chester dancing every day. You would be in the common room and there would be a trumpet going off, and drums, and everyone would be singing. So this is literally like when I was 16-years-old. It’s really weird.”
Fame made an impact on Jorgie from an early age. She remembers going to her local church for dance lessons as a tiny girl, and the famous Fame title track was one of the songs that left an indelible mark on her.
“Those lessons were where I found my love of dance,” she recalls. “I would jump up and do the star jumps at the beginning of Fame. Fame gets your heart going because the music is just so incredible.”
Jorgie’s acting ability is well-known after her small screen success but, panto aside, theatre is a new challenge for her, and even she had a few doubts about this new role: “I get really nervous,” she admits. “I think everyone does when you get a new job, and you think ‘I’m not good enough’, but eventually those nerves become excitement and adrenalin and every single show becomes hyped.”
And she is dedicated to this new show: “I don’t want to get crazy trying to take on other things,” says the in-demand actress and model. “This is something I want to give my all to.”
Further casting includes platinum-selling soul artist and star of Chicago and Love Me Tender Mica Paris as Miss Sherman, and Any Dream Will Do star Keith Jack as Nick Piazza.
Jorgie says she is thrilled to be working with such a talented cast: “They are incredible, so impressive, Many are fresh from graduating and learn so quickly. I’m one of the oldest, which is freaking me out!” she says with a giggle.
Speaking about keeping up her fitness for the energetic role, she said: “If you are doing a stage show, you can’t really fit pizza in when your partner is lifting you so much!” she laughs. “You adapt to what goes on and you get fit doing the job, really, which is a great buzz.
“I am a very active person too,” she admits. “If I wake up in the morning and haven’t done a 20 minute run on the treadmill, I’ll feel like I have got too much energy.”
But Fame rehearsals pushed Jorgie to new fitness levels – and she has suffered for her art: “At the end of the day I couldn’t physically move and my feet were bleeding,” she said.
She added: “There is so much depth in this production. There is a lot of shocking things, and lots of subjects that are being touched on.
“The cast is super. I get goosebumps every time some of these kids sing, and I feel so lucky to be a part of something that feels so great.”
•Tickets are available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland*
*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your plus your phone company’s access charge. Booking and transaction fees may apply.
•To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to Fame the Musical at Sunderland Empire on Monday, April 8, answer this question: In which Channel 4 soap did Jorgie Porter rise to fame?
Email your answer and contact details to [email protected] by 9am on Wednesday, April 3.
Tickets are non transferable and no monetary value will be given.
Usual JPI Media competition rules apply.
Full Ts and Cs are available online at https://www.jpimedia.co.uk/competition-prize-draw-terms-and-conditions/