Earlier this week I had the opportunity of seeing High Storrs School’s summer production West Side Story. This was a terrific school production and the cast was overflowing with talent.
The show had one of the strongest ensembles I’d seen in a long time. From the youngest students to the oldest sixth formers, they all executed dance teacher Mr Selby’s choreography to perfection.
Heidi Goodhill impressed as Anita with some very strong vocals and worked very well with Jay Olpin as Bernardo. Jay did a great job in his role and had a great stage presence. Annabelle Kirkpatrick Lorentz played Maria and she demonstrated some truly stunning vocals and her acting throughout the show was incredible, particularly at the end of the show. Her chemistry with Elliot Goodhill as Tony was very believable. Elliot had some very strong vocals and he definitely proved he’s a West End worthy performer. He had a great rapport with James Hadabora who played Riff who really shone in this show with a spot on accent, excellent dance skills and a great singing voice.
Jess Beedle was wonderful as Anybodys and Nat Short impressed as Action, even if he did look like he was about to punch someone in the face all the time. Leo Peace did a terrific job in the role of Schrank whilst Dominic Hartley made a very entertaining Officer Krupke. Harry Foster-Major demonstrated some incredible acting talent as Baby John and his vocals in Office Krupke was outstanding. Thea John as Doc was wonderful to watch and a special mention must also go to Emma Tomlinson who gave a stunning rendition of Somewhere.
The show had a phenomenal set for a school production and was brilliantly staged in the space. Some amazing lighting was used in the show too. It was just a shame there were issues with microphones and sound effects but the cast remained completely professional despite this. I didn’t understand the decision to use the microphones for singing but not for dialogue though.
This truly was a showcase of the incredible talent High Storrs School has both amongst its students and its exceptional performing arts teaching staff.
West Side Story has now closed but I, for one, cannot wait to see whatever show they do next year.