Putney Arts Theatre, Ravenna Road, London SW15

West Side Story

West Side Story, with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins, is a classic re-telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.   Its backdrop is the ethnic, working-class Upper West Side neighbourhood of New York in the mid-1950s.  The show explores the violent rivalry between two street gangs: the Jets, white New Yorkers and the Sharks, Puerto Rican immigrants.  The male protagonist, Tony, a former Jet and best friend of their leader Riff, falls in love with Maria, the younger sister of the Sharks’ leader, Bernardo.  Prejudice and pride fuel a gritty violence which ultimately ends in tragedy.

The incredibly intricate score and extended dance sequences bring light and shade to this musical, with well-known stand-outs like Maria, America, Somewhere, Tonight, I Feel Pretty, and Gee, Office Krupke among many others.

The show’s creative lens on social strife marked a turning point in American musical theatre, with themes of prejudice, family, love and neighbourhood rivalry.

Review

National Operatic and Dramatic Association London Region – Reviewer: Des Wilby – Regional Representative (District 3)West Side Story – PLOS – 1.6.2018

“Congratulations to everyone associated with PLOS and for such a truly excellent production”

Creative team

Director: Freddy Bowen | Musical Director: Harriet Oughton|
Choreographer: Emily Bowers |

Assistant Choreographer: Millie Tyson |Producer: Ben Waterhouse | Assistant Producer: Hannah Umlandt 

 

Cast

– The Jets

Tony  |  Will Poyser
Riff  |  Nigel Fullerton
Action  |  Alex Blackie
Baby John  |  Jamie Wright
Diesel |  Alex Johnson
Snowboy |  
Jack Beedle
A-Rab  |  Jon Haines
Big Deal |  Peter Barnett
Anybody’s  |   Kathryn Felton
Velma |  Ailie Donaldson
Graziella |  Emma Ollis
Minnie  |  Megan Scarff
Clarice |  Ally Staddon
Pauline  | Cat WoodhamsJet Girls:   
Rebecca McVeigh
Hannah Blowfield

– The Sharks

Bernardo  |  Josh Yard
Chino  |  Mickey Chong
Pepe  |  Jon Bradley
Indio  | Tyrone Haywood
Luis  |  Orlando Bolt 
Maria  |  Katherine Skene
Anita |  Bianca Lloyd-King
Consuela |  Rachel Jarmy
Rosalia |  Deborah Lowe
Francisca |  Emily O’Mahony
Teresita |  Rosie Orchard
Estella |  Jess Bunker
Margarita |  Gemma MilesShark Girls:
Emily Atkinson
Hilary Zondlak
Kim Schenkelaars
Isobel Snelson

– The Adults

Officer Krupke  |  Mark Davies
Doc  |   Jason Thomas
‘Somewhere’ singer |   Milena Mironuk
Glad Hand  |  Alex Johnson
Lt Schrank |  Will Prescott