West Side Story hits the big time
The seventh production by theatre group Day8, West Side Story took place at the Whitley Bay Playhouse from Tuesday 24th to Saturday 28th April. Bdaily attended the show on the final night, preparing to deliver the hit US musical to a full house.
Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story is set in the mid-1950s and explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, reflecting the two Shakespearean families - the Montagues and Capulets.
Led by a superb orchestra, the show opened to iconic imagery of 1950s America. The stage scenery was authentic and wrapped the entire show in a believable setting, couching the entire evening perfectly and transporting us back into 1950s America.
The actors secured their roles through an open audition, and once on board enjoyed endorsement from the Royal Shakespheare Company, as part of their Open Stages Programme. Actors aged as young as 15 took key parts in the production, and all contributed through their singing, acting and dancing skills throughout the show.
Leading lady Maria was outstanding throughout the production, with an extensive vocal range, with an emotion that filled the auditorium. Tony, her counter was less convincing and struggled with some key notes during solo pieces. However, the broader cast carried the performance through to offer a five star show throughout.
Our favourite scenes included the heartfelt performance by Maria when she expresses her love for Tony to Anita, singing A boy like that/I have a love. The other scene was the more comic-led performance of the Jets, when they performed the scene, parodying the previous run in with Officer Krupke.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening, brilliant atmosphere throughout and excellent response from the audience across the evening. We are going to look out for further productions at the Whitley Bay Playhouse if this is the standard we are set to expect.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Si Bales .