New York street life comes to the Grand Theatre

West Side Story rehearsals at Blackpool Grand Theatre
West Side Story rehearsals at Blackpool Grand Theatre
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After the success of last year’s production of Billy Elliot, Fame School of the Arts present West Side Story from Tuesday June 5 at Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Now set in post 9/11 New York City, Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.

The members of the Puerto Rican Sharks are taunted by the Jets, a white working class group. Then Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Barnado, leader of the Sharks… Based on Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story’s dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre.

At Fame School of the Arts children aged from 6 to 16 receive dance, drama and singing lessons from a wide range of professional and experienced teachers – many of whom are professional performers in their own right.

Bringing together the best in local young talent aged between 10 and 25 years old the school held auditions across Blackpool to cast the production.

Joe Martin, principal of Fame School of the Arts and musical director on West Side Story said: “It is such a pleasure and a privilege to be back at the Grand Theatre.

“After the success of Billy Elliot the Musical there was nowhere else we could take such an iconic show as West Side Story. With the intimate setting of the theatre, accompanied by the helpfulness and friendliness of all its staff the Grand is fast becoming the theatrical home for Fame School of the Arts.”

West Side Story is at the Grand Theatre from Tuesday to Saturday June 5 to 9. Tickets are priced from £8 to £14.