West Side Story

Posted on 23 Nov 2016

Our innovative production of the legendary musical West Side Story proved to be a sellout success last week.

Families and friends packed the O’Halloran Hall to the rafters for the three-night run of the Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim classic.

A large cast of more than 40 pupils performed in the musical which originally transplanted the story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to New York’s Hell’s Kitchen slum in the 1950s.

However, in a further time-travelling twist, the St. Mary’s production was updated to present day America.

The lead roles of Tony and Maria were played by Didier Muller and Sophie Clarke. George Clarke played Jets gang leader Riff while the Sharks were headed up by Sean Dwyer as Bernardo.

The whole cast acquitted themselves brilliantly as they tackled classic showstoppers like America, Tonight, Somewhere, I Feel Pretty and Gee Officer Kupke.

The production was directed by Anna Smith and Peter Ravenscroft and the choreography was by Sally Townsley.

Meanwhile, St. Mary’s Director of Music Andrew Byers conducted the orchestra and singers, supported by vocal coach Colin Johnston.

The production of West Side Story continues St. Mary’s proud tradition of presenting major musicals, following Grease in 2014 and Oliver! in 2010.

Principal Mike Kennedy commented: “The success of this production was the result of a huge amount of hard work by the cast, musicians and backstage crew, and all the pupils did fantastically well to do justice to what is a uniquely challenging show.

“The energy and enjoyment of the performers was visible for everyone to see, so it’s no surprise that the show brought the house down each night. It’s a production that everyone at St. Mary’s will remember for a very long time.”