West Side Story was a huge success

The pressure was on, but boy did they deliver

drama GMTG review success west side story WSS

After the success of last year’s Phantom of the Opera, the pressure was on for GMTG to top it with their performance of West Side Story.

Would Rebecca Maynard, debuting Director, be able to carry on this now legacy of successful musicals? Would the dancing, acting, singing all be on form and would it reach the level of originality GMTG is renown for?

The simple answer is yes.

With fabulous cast choices, well choreographed pieces by Eleanor Rattenbury and a well-placed set, she should be extremely proud. The fantastic costume designs, displaying the great separation of the rival gangs, were the cherry on the top.

The ensemble provided endless talent and entertainment throughout

A massive congratulations must go to Ben Farrar and Ollie Hance, who organised an outstanding orchestra. It was so unbelievably good it could have been a CD.

The setting of the musical was perfect, screaming originality with a balcony and silhouette fences nailing the downtown 1950s New York City.

The balcony, infused with a Latin twist, echoes the Romeo and Juilet scenes which the musical is based on. Even if unintentional, it screamed everything the audience pictures when watching the film.

Geddy Stringer (Bernando), leader of the Sharks, was incredbile. He oosed a slick, sassy style which captivated the audience.

Other outstanding performances were given by the Jets, particularly Josh Bluer, as they created a fusion of fantastic facial expressions altogether, especially in the whimsical triumph of Gee, Officer Krupke. The audience were in stitches.

The dance-off and slick fight scenes between the Sharks and Jets, contrasting the two cultures of the rival gangs, were endlessly entertaining.

These testosterone-charged episodes in a ballet style brawl were fantastic. The dancers set a new level of rhythm, especially during the Mumbo.

There was no shortage of Puerto Rican fire as Steph Lindo (Anita) and the Shark girls captured the sass and sarcasm of America effortlessly.

Its cheeky nature was emphasised by Ellen Howard (Consuela) and Ami Love (Rosalia), as they lured the audience in with their simmering movements and cheeky smiles.

And the angelic nature of the song I Feel Pretty and playful movements was perfected with grace and poise.

Steph Lindo (Anita) also maintained a brilliant performance in conveying the horrific scene when Anita is ravaged by the Jets.

One of our favourite moments, the emotion displayed became heartbreaking to watch

Emily Anderson’s (Maria) stunning vocal range certainly enchanted the audience. Admittedly, with her heartbreaking final scene, audiences were undoubtedly unable to hold back tears, as she collapsed over Tony’s body.

It demonstrates that when something has the ability to make you cry, it’s a true emotion awakened by exceptional talent.

sensational expressions

Matt Mcconnell’s wit and energy was a wonderful portrayal of Tony, as well as his believable connection to the other characters such as Riff, Doc and of course Maria.

The GMTG cast delivered yet another faultless performance in their outstanding production of West Side Story.

Again they rival the next GMTG performance, reaffirming the high levels of talent and professionalism that can be achieved at university level drama.

Photography courtesy of Charlotte Wilson.