IF YOU remember the name Fame, head to the Koorliny Arts Centre this June as the popular musical sets the stage alive with an awesome combination of singing and dancing.

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.

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.”

First performing as a seven-year-old, Rippon acted professionally in the UK and has appeared in a plethora of productions over the years with with some of her favourite local appearances at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and with Murray Music and Drama in Beauty and The Beast, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof and Les Miserables.

Rippon also started 9 Lives Theatrical Production Company in 2007, after directing for three years, to give children stage opportunities – but closed it down last year due to work commitments.

She also teaches musical theatre at the All About Dance Company once a week.

“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. Tickets are $25, $23 concession and $18 children – book at http://koorliny.com.au/fame/ or on 9467 7118.

The Koorliny Arts Centre is on Sulphur Road, Kwinana.