Zephy Critchley, as Maria, and George Henderson, as Tony, in West Side Story. Picture by Robin Crossley.
STAGE REVIEW AN OUTSTANDING performance by Ryde School pupils during their explosive production of West Side Story deservedly earned them a standing ovation.
As ever, the students, who won an award for their production of Cabaret at the County Press Amateur Theatre Awards last year, excelled themselves in this American musical, set in the New York neighbourhood, Upper West Side, in the mid-1950s.
Two rival teenage gangs, the Jets, a white working-class group, and the Sharks, from Puerto Rico, clashed on the streets of the city.
It resulted in a fatal ending and threatened to jeopardise a relationship between two members of the rival groups.
Stand-out performances were provided by Zephy Critchley, as Maria, and George Henderson, as Tony.
Critchley’s voice was outstanding but her all-round performance was equally impressive.
At times, the emotion she portrayed in scenes with Henderson had some of the audience wiping tears from their eyes.
And credit to Henderson, who had the confidence to perform a series of impressive solos.
Ieuan Perkins, a star of last year’s production of Cabaret, provided an impressive performance as Riff, the leader of the Jets.
Perkins has a unique stage presence and when he performed, the audience were left spellbound
The impeccable orchestra deserved a special mention because the music, which included Maria, America and Somewhere, set the perfect tone for the theme of the play.
Clearly a lot of work went into the production but it was well worth it.