How poignant to have a love story on the stage of Belfast’s Grand Opera House in the run up to Valentines’s Day! But this is a love story that features murder, violence and rape. On first view it doesn’t sound too appealing, does it? But don’t be fooled, as this heart wrenching adaptation of West Side Story is a captivating rendition of the classic story, set in New York in the late 1950s, which sees the Jets slug it out with their rival street gang, the Sharks.

Performed by the unbelievably talented cast of the Belfast Music & Drama Society, you’ll be taken on a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish. Exciting, funny, moving and thought-provoking, the cast will bring you on a journey through each scene to a dramatic climax. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, I’m sure the ending is well-known, but I still never want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen the original.

The months of rehearsal are evident, as the whole cast are amazing at singing, dancing and acting – and all with an American accent! I thought the female cast stole the show, well in the first half anyway. With big numbers such as America and Tonight they really delivered a thrilling performance, especially 16 year old Newry school girl, Amber Dixon as “Maria”. But then back in for the second half, and thanks to a very entertaining rendition of Gee,Officer Krupke, I think the male cast evened it up. It’s a tough one to call, and I guess you’ll have to make up your own mind – but be quick as it’s only runs until this Saturday!

Tickets can be purchased here or by calling 028 9024 1919. 

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