Girls at The Towers Convent School in Upper Beeding vividly recreated the gritty environment of New York in the 1950s.
The key stage four students’ performance of West Side Story wowed audiences over two nights, November 17 and 18, and showed how the musical is as relevant today as it was in 1957, when Leonard Bernstein’s ground-breaking score first burst on to the Broadway scene.
Deborah Sparkes, drama teacher, said: “Its combination of edgy syncopated rhythms and sweeping melodies still inspires performers and audiences alike.
“This was clearly evident in The Towers Convent School’s recent production, where the cast of 14 to 16-year-old girls vividly created the gritty environment of the time in New York’s deprived west side.
“The energy and passion of the cast was infectious in numbers such as America, Tonight and Gee, Officer Krupke.
“This contrasted beautifully with the emotional depth achieved in the haunting melodies of Somewhere, Maria and A Boy Like That.
“It was clearly apparent that the cast connected with the story, reflecting on the innate injustice of prejudice.”
The age of the cast was forgotten as everyone immersed themselves in the unforgiving gang world of the Sharks and the Jets.
The audience were taken on a rollercoaster journey, laughing, crying and ultimately, leaving deeply moved.
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