REVIEW: The Irving impresses with West Side Story

The Irving Stage Company staging a captivating production of West Side Story at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds (photo by Andy Abbott)
The Irving Stage Company staging a captivating production of West Side Story at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds (photo by Andy Abbott)

The Irving Stage Company’s West Side Story production got off to a great start in Bury St Edmunds on Tuesday, its opening night at the Theatre Royal.

A modern day Romeo and Juliet, the story tells the tale of two young lovers caught between warring New York street gangs, the American Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks.

Lead actors Jonathan Lodge and Lucy Allen as Tony and Maria (photo by Andy Abbott)

Lead actors Jonathan Lodge and Lucy Allen as Tony and Maria (photo by Andy Abbott)

Using comedy and unforgettable songs to explore issues of race, prejudice, violence, love and tragedy, this musical is just as relevant today, 70 years after its creation.

Jonathan Lodge and Lucy Allen gave stand-out vocal performances as Tony, a former member of the Jets, and Maria, the sister of the Sharks’ leader, while Melissa Castiel was fantastic in her portrayal of Bernardo’s girlfriend Anita.

With great delivery of exciting dance numbers and fantastic songs, this is yet another show The Irving can be proud of. Well done to all involved and to the show’s director and choreographer Sian Couture.

West Side Story will run until Saturday but tickets are limited. Go to www.theatreroyal.org

Finale of West Side Story (photo by Andy Abbott)

Finale of West Side Story (photo by Andy Abbott)