Saturday, 9 August 2014

West Side Story UK Tour | LittleEllieMae Review

As I've mentioned before, I am a bit of a (huge) musical theatre fanatic. I've been going to the theatre every year since I was about 6 years old and my love for musicals has grown up with me. 

So far this year I have been lucky enough to see Singing In The Rain and Cats, and this week I went to watch West Side Story at the Theatre Royal Plymouth

I've seen the film of West Side Story a few times before, but its never really stuck out as one of my favourites (in comparison to Singing In The Rain and Calamity Jane etc.) so I was somewhat skeptical over how the musical would be. 

West Side Story is the modern tale inspired by 'Romeo and Juliet'. It is set in the 1950s where there is a constant battle between two gangs (The Sharks, who are from Puerto Rico and The Jets, from New York). However, Tony who is one of The Jets falls in love with Maria, the younger sister of Bernardo, the leader of The Sharks. This, as you can imagine, causes a huge disputes between all sides. 

My family and I were lucky enough to have seats which were on the second row from the stage which was really exciting. I love being sat close to the stage as you can really see every little detail which makes everything seem so much more intense; I could see the way the actors punched in the stage- fights and the points of their toes in the dance routines. It made me feel as if I were in the story myself. 

To get to the point, I absolutely loved the show. From the music and dancing to the costumes and script. Everything was great and performed so tremendously by the amazing cast. 

I actually went to see the show twice in a week! The first time I went with my family, Matthew Hawksley took on the role of Riff, the leader of The Jets, whereas the second time I went to see it Jack Wilcox played his original role and Matthew returned to playing Action. I liked both actors in this role as they both have such phenomenal voices, particularly in the 'Jet Song' but I think I preferred Matthew Hawksley as Riff as he brought an element of such intensity to the role which I think is very faithful to the character of Riff. 

The casting for this show was just perfect. In particular Katie Hall, who played Maria, and Louis Maskell, who played Tony, had so much chemistry in addition to some of the most powerful yet beautiful voices I have ever heard in musical theatre. Their rendition 'Tonight' gave me goosebumps each time I heard it. 

My favourite scene of the show has to be the dance at the gym where it was an explosion of intense dance routines between The Jets and The Sharks. Sometimes I didn't know where to look as there was so much going on but the dancing was just so on point, it was faultless. These actors were all obviously well professionally trained, as they perfected every single move. 

The song that I loved most in the show was probably 'Gee, Officer Krupke' which just made me laugh every time as The Jets make fun of the police officer. It got the whole auditorium laughing, giving the show a bit more warmth between the murders and heart- break. But of course, the songs like 'Somewhere' and 'Maria' were beautifully sung and just as great. 

Another thing that I have to point out about the West Side Story show is the attention to detail. One of the parts that stands out most prominently for me is when Action (Matthew Hawksley) and one of The Sharks are having a fist fight; Action dives on top of the Puerto Rican through the air stunningly, with his toes pointed perfectly and hands in a strong in- flight position, it was as if time had stopped right there and then. Detailed and obviously well rehearsed things like that happened all through the show and it didn't fail to amaze me. 

I'm going to wrap up this slightly longer post than usual now, but I will be doing another one about the costumes, makeup and hair of the West Side Story tour show very soon- so keep and eye out for that!

West Side Story UK Tour is travelling around the country now, so go and check it out! You will not regret it!

What's your favourite musical of all time? Comment below or let me know by tweeting me @LittleEllieMae :)

Have a great day!

Ellie Mae x

- This is not a sponsored post; All views and opinions are my own. 


  1. Lovely post and very relatable seeing as I say west side story last month! It was good wasn't it! Xx I've just started a blog of my own and if you're interested you are very welcome to visit. Followers are desperately needed!!

    1. Thank you Tasha! It is certainly great :) I will check your blog out x