COLCHESTER OPERATIC SOCIETY SECOND EDITION (CO2)
WEST SIDE STORY
Director Adam Woodhouse
Assisted by Leanne Fincham
Musical Director Neil Somerville
Performed at the Mercury Theatre 26th September 2013
There are not enough superlatives to praise this outstanding production by Colchester Operatic Second Edition(CO2).This talented company just goes from strength to strength and the standard is just first class.
The pace which was constant from the Prologue with the Orchestra who were on top form and sounded superb, leading into the opening scene with Riff and the Jets held the audience totally attentive, not wanting to miss any of the fast, slick action on stage.
Tight dance and fight routines which were so personal to every person on stage and their involvement in every move. We watched all the cast acting/dancing as individuals with the result of original and sometimes very unexpected new ideas and challenging routines.
The sets were amazing and would not have been out of place on a West End stage.The crew did a great job with slick moving and re setting the stage with no fuss or problems.
The strong cast were on top form with some new faces in major roles in the production.
Both Hyoie O’Grady playing Tony and Jenny Collins playing Maria were making their debut for the company and both were outstanding with voices which encompassed a huge range in their songs and were sung with great feeling in both tone and delivery.
The pairing was so charming and so believable with some tender moments making it very special .At times, with a full house in the Mercury Theatre, the tensions and atmosphere coming from the cast which relayed to the audiences imagination was so electric you could hear a pin drop.
Harry Totham as Riff and Dallyce Thiessen as Anita played great supporting characters with huge commitment from them. Both with strong voices and excellent diction.
Jack Nayler as Bernardo another first show with the company looked just right in this character and Barney Fritz as Action and Will Mugford as Chino did well in their respective roles.
Shannon Hannah as Anybodys deserves a mention for her animation and energy which was terrific.
The adults assisting in the cast from Will Parrick as Shrank, Will Hooper as Doc and David Rutter as Officer Krupke gave confident performances alongside the young people.
The ensemble singing was lovely with some very special numbers so well sung.
Suported by a strong line up of Guys and Girls the effort put into the production from Adam, Neil and Leanne on the production team was very evident and full credit to them for every aspect of the show which made it so very special.
On leaving the theatre I heard comments from people like”Why go to London to see a show when this talent is here in Colchester”I laughed and cried all through the show it was brilliant”.”I would like to see it again”.Praise indeed but so well deserved.
Thank you so much for West Side Story it was a wonderful evening’s entertainment.