West Side Story
King’s Theatre, Glasgow
15-25 January 2014
Reviewed by Caroline Murray
Last night we went to see West Side Story starring Louis Maskell as Tony, Katie Hall as Maria, Djalenga Scott as Anita, Javier Sid as Bernardo and finally Jack Wilcox as Riff.
On arrival at the theatre we found the staff very polite and helpful. We were given our tickets, a programme and our drink orders for the interval was taken. We were then shown to our seats which were in the Grand Circle 3rd row from the front giving us a fantastic view of the stage. Looking around it was clear that the performance was a complete sell out, the audience had a good mix of young and old. As we waited for the curtain to go up there was a huge sense of excitement and anticipation as the audience became aware that the performance was about to begin.
The show is a modern musical based on Romeo and Juliet, depicting the story of two disadvantaged rival street gangs in New York City and the tragic love story between Maria and Tony. The gangs are The Jets with their leader Riff (Jack Wilcox) and the Puerto Rican Latino Sharks and their leader Bernardo (Javier Cid). It explains clearly the history between the two gangs and how the rivalry begins. The Jets receive some protection from the city’s police force who have a tendency to being corrupt and racist. It goes on to tell how Maria and Tony from rival gangs fall in love, only for it to end tragically.
The performers are mostly young athletic dancers and singers who play the part of the two gang members along with the veterans of the show, Doc (David Delve), Lieutenant Schrank (Jason Griffiths) and finally Officer Krupke ( Sion Tudor Owen). Throughout the performance there were plenty moments of laughter when the cast managed to use adult jokes without the younger audience members cottoning on.
During one scene in particular in the second half Officer Krupke exits the stage leaving behind his cap and baton. Jet member Baby John (played by Fraser Fraser) picks them up and starts strutting about the stage mimicking Officer Krupke yelling out orders to the remaining gang members. It was hilarious and had the audience in stitches.
The voice of Maria was outstanding as was that of Tony who hits the high notes with extreme ease. There was the added bonus of a wonderful orchestra led by musical director Ben Van Tienan. It was a pleasure to watch Ben dancing away to the music as it was to watch the show.
This was an outstanding performance by a talent packed cast and as the final curtain fell we felt the cast had given their all (all 110% of it).
So we are giving West Side Story a massive 5/5.
Tickets cost from Tickets £17.90 to £53.40 plus £2.85 transaction fee.
For more information or to book tickets click here.