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East Side Story - One4Review

Then NewVic Ensemble are a theatre group of 14 youngsters from East London who have adapted the Bernstein / Sondheim classic Westside story for today and for the kids in the East End. The essence of the story is similar Batz and Hawkze replacing Sharks and Jets rival gangs who dislike each other, but what happens when a member of each rival gang fall for each other? If you have seen the original you will probably guess. This adaptation by the artists under the direction of Marlisa Ross even includes their own versions of some original songs from the inspirational original, but mixed together with some more up-to-date urban street music and some highly complicated yet well executed dance number give this show a raw edge that works most of the time. This is an enjoyable piece of theatre, but I feel it really tries to be too many things. For me the adaptation of the classic ‘America’ and ‘Officer Krupke’ nearly work, but not quite whereas the modernisation of the storyline is excellent. The singing voices are not superb, however the dancing and choreography are spot on. This is a show and a company that deserve to succeed and with a little more work it could well do. Unfortunately the show is only on a short run so you’ll have to catch it quickly. ***

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