4-14 June 2014
Reviewed by Delphi Ellis
The Jets and the Sharks are marking their territory in Manhattan and decide the only way to settle the scores is with a rumble, the plans of which will be discussed at the community dance. Riff (Jack Wilcox) decides to approach Barnardo (Javier Cid) and arrange the battle much to the delight of Anita (Djalenga Scott), Barnardo’s girlfriend, who welcomes the passion he displays when he gets home from winning a fight.
The mood is tense at the party and the teenagers do their best to keep their rivalry hidden from the organisers. As the dance gets under way, two young people notice each other – and fall in love – across the crowded room. Enter Tony (Louis Maskell) and Maria (Katie Hall) – and their tragic journey of forbidden love.
This outstanding performance by the Ambassador Theatre Group, captivated the audience from the outset with the cleverly designed sets, stunning costumes, expertly executed dance routines and phenomenal range of singing talent. The cast choice, particularly of Djialenga Scott as Anita, and her performance of America, led you to believe you were in the midst of these frenzied, comical and heart-breaking events, unfolding right before your very eyes.
Maskell’s rendition of Maria actually made my heart beat out of its chest, as he portrayed the passion and obvious delight that Tony felt to have found his true love.
Milton Keynes theatre is set in the heart of MK with free car parking next to the venue all year round. The entrance is light, with glass fronted building and inside there are plenty of areas to sit, drink and enjoy the moments before the performance starts. When we arrived there were demonstrations of salsa taking place for guests to join in, if they were feeling in the mood.
An epic, outstanding and at times heart stopping performance.
Tickets cost from £17.90 to £53.40 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
West Side Story is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 14June 2014. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8717652.
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3NZ