West Side Story
17th May 2018
Prince of Wales Theatre Cannock
Type of Production
Author: Brian Hirst
The society made a brave decision to take on the challenges of this classic musical but if all the other audience reactions were like last night’s then all the cast and production team will realise that the risks were worth it.
Sarah Beckett put her own stamp on this production with some excellent pieces of staging and slick choreography. I particularly liked the settings for ‘I Feel Pretty’ and ‘Gee Officer Krupke’ led by Neil Morris (Action). The big ensemble numbers of ‘America’ and ‘Dance at the Gym’ had the right amount of aggression and attack.
Accents are not easy to maintain throughout a performance but there were no problems for either Hattie Sketchley-Bates (Maria) or Beth Flint (Anita). Hattie managed to switch her emotions perfectly and her singing was a delight. She duetted well with Beth who was outstanding in her role and also with Stuart Brooke (Tony) who was well cast in his difficult role. There were strong contributions from Mark Nicholls (Riff), Sean Westwood (Bernardo), Chris Britt (Chino) and Linda Georgiou who showed her vocal qualities in ‘America’ and ‘I Feel Pretty’. There was good support from Chris Parry (Doc), Antony Britt (Shranke), Mikee Evans (Krupke) and not forgetting all the gang members and dancers plus Charlotte Harrison as the girl singing ‘Somewhere’.
The large orchestra was well controlled by Mark Bayliss and there was always a good balance between the stage and orchestra. Costumes, lighting and sound all added to the success of the evening.
Another impressive aspect of this production is that it was mainly cast from existing loyal society members.
Well done to everyone involved!