West Side Story

Date 16th September 2021
Society Stagedright Youth Theatre
Venue Sands Centre
Production Type Musical
Director David McNeill
Musical Director Alison Bedford
Choreographer Karen Woodruff
Producer none

Report

Author: Ed McGee

It was a great pleasure to see this talented youth company. Back treading the boards at the Sands.

The simple set was really imaginative and worked well with the performance being played on the floor of the Sands rather than on stage. It really gave the vibe of American gang culture and the scene changes minimal and well executed.

It was clear that the company were really enjoying themselves, the energy and enthusiasm shown by every single one of them was evident throughout the performance. All the main principals gave strong, convincing portrayals of their respective characters. The American and Latino accents were all very good and never over the top.

Luke Thompson, in his first lead role, was excellent as Tony. His singing was superb; it may have been his first leading role but it most certainly won’t be his last. Beth Smith as Maria sang and acted well, her and Tony had a very good rapport with each other. Caitlyn Edmondson as Anita characterised her Latino origins with ease. Her singing and dancing were exemplary. The simmering unease between the Jets and Sharks was very believable – well done.

The choreography was excellent, all the ensemble numbers had the right feel and were very well synchronised. Alison Bedford must have worked very hard with the company in the preceding months; all the difficult harmonies were very good.

The last word must go to David McNeill, he must have had many sleepless nights. But once again he has delivered an outstanding Stagedright production.