FAME costs, and here’s where you start paying...in sweat.”

Fans of Alan Parker’s 1980 movie Fame and the subsequent TV series are in for a treat this month, when the stage musical version comes to town. Starring Mica Paris, Hollyoaks actress Jorgie Porter and Keith Jack, who has enjoyed a musical theatre career since being a runner-up on BBC1’s Any Dream Will Do, Fame the Musical has been revived for the show’s 30th anniversary.

It follows the lives of students at New York’s High School for Performing Arts as they navigate the highs and lows, romances and heartbreaks of life. Bittersweet but uplifting, it explores issues confronting young people today, not least prejudice, identity, literacy, sexuality and substance abuse.

For Mica Paris, who plays Miss Sherman, the show’s 30th anniversary coincides with her own 30 years in the business.

With several Top 10 singles and albums sold worldwide, Mica recently released a new single paying tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. On TV she has presented shows including What Not To Wear and CelebAir and she played jazz singer Amelia Walker in ITV’s Miss Marple. In 2006 she appeared on Strictly Come Dancing. Mica’s stage credits include Mama I Want To Sing in the West End and the UK tour of Chicago. She says the movie Fame was a favourite because “it was the first glimpse of what the beginning process of becoming a trained artist entailed”.

“Like most people, I grew up obsessed with Fame,” adds Mica. “It was an honour when they asked me to be involved. I play Miss Sherman, the English teacher who tries to help Tyrone, an exceptional dancer and a boy with huge potential. She tells him to stop blagging his way through acting and dancing - and that he needs to have an education. It’s really well cast for me. I have two kids and am very good at telling them off!”

Mica says this new version has more grit than fans of the pop culture phenomenon might be used to.

“It’s a little darker; gritty, but with heart and soul. It’s real and not just sweet,” she says. “That’s what’s wonderful about this show, the darker element stops it being twee and the kids in it are so fresh and wanting to be great at the beginning of their lives. And they’re all so talented! Then you’ve got the old timer, me, doing some craziness.”

Not that Mica has a problem with being the older cast member. Quite the opposite. “I love being around young people, they keep me on point with stuff. One of my songs is These Are My Children, a proper gospel song. I have reworked it a bit and it sounds really powerful. You’ve got to feel stuff, it doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not. That’s what is exciting - that instant feeling you give the audience. I live for that.”

She’s excited to be on the road with Fame. “We do eight shows a week, so it forces me to stay fit. For me, wealth is health.”

* Fame the Musical is at the Alhambra from August 27 to September 1.

For tickets call (01274) 432000.