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WEST SIDE STORY

SCAMPS


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Director Adam Whittle
Musical Director David Bradford
Dance Director Julie Aspinall

SLX scenery filled the Evans Theatre stage giving the production status and when lit by John Selevin it took on the part of another character. Costumes in-house and hired all made the right statements enhanced by the hairdressing team. Direction was inventive and time was obviously spent in rehearsal getting this youth group to understand the psychology of the piece. Fight scenes were choreographed and delivered with realism making the feud between the Jets and Sharks believable.

Unfortunately the opening and closing of act one. and the opening of act two lacked the same imagination which let down the overall effect a little.

All the movement and choreography was inspired none of the routines over stretched the company. The dancing was honed to the ability of the soloists enhancing the scenes totally. This was so evident in the act two ballet sequences, a highlight of the production.

Musically, Bernstein’s score was interpreted with great understanding from the M.D and his orchestra. The members of the cast were never less than solid and, at best, impressive. Colin Wood mixed the sound which never compromised the soloists or company numbers.

All the characters were recognisable and believable. Jenny Kent gave a more than credible performance as Maria. Joel Harper. as the tragic hero. Tony. fulfilled every aspect of the character. Leader of the Sharks. Bernardo. was well characterised by Brian Mottran. His dancing had all the necessary Latin flavour. The role of Anita is so demanding but Talina Navide took on the challenge and delivered a fine performance.

The team-work was so apparent and the whole company kept the production on the move. This was an evening of energy, attack and pace, and the audience was most responsive.