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West Side Story

West Side Story

Based on a conception of Jerome Robbins
Book by Arthur Laurents | Music by Leonard Bernstein | Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Entire original production directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins

Originally produced on Broadway by Robert E. Griffith & Harold Prince by arrangement with Roger L. Stevens
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with JOSEF WEINBERGER LIMITED on behalf of MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL of NEW YORK.

The award-winning Carlton Operatic Society presents West Side Story

Set in mid-1950s New York, this legendary musical retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, and the love of Tony and Maria which crosses the divide with tragic consequences.

The unforgettable score, a musical masterpiece, includes Maria, Tonight, I Feel Pretty, and America. The original, ground-breaking production changed the face of musical theatre forever, won two Tony Awards, and was nominated for a further four, and the 1961 film version won ten Academy Awards.

Following the successes of Sister Act, Legally Blonde and Grease, Carlton Operatic Society bring this magnificent musical to the Theatre Royal where you will be taken on a heart-rending journey of love and passion.

30th May - 3rd June 2017, Nottingham Theatre Royal


  • Tuesday 30th May 7.30pm
  • Wednesday 31st May 2.30pm & 7.30pm
  • Thursday 1st June 7.30pm
  • Friday 2nd June 7.30pm
  • Saturday 3rd June 2.30pm & 7.30pm
  • Stalls: £24, £21, £18
  • Dress Circle: £24, £21
  • Upper Circle: £21
  • Balcony: £12.50

Concessions & Special Offers

  • Royal Friends: Save £3 on Tuesday 7.30pm performance only, excluding Balcony seats *
  • Under 25s, Over 60s, Registered Unwaged, Students: Save £3 on all performances, excluding Balcony seats
  • Groups 10+: Buy 10 tickets and get the 11th ticket free
  • Registered Disabled: Accompanying adult free*

Please note that there are no concessions in the Balcony. * Only available via the Theatre Royal Box Office.


West Side Story is one of my favourite musicals. With the perfect match of storyline based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim it is a work of collective genius that manages to be greater than the sum of its parts. It therefore presents a significant challenge to any company, professional or non-professional, to rise to the challenge and do it justice, and happily tonight Carlton Operatic did just that.

First and foremost was the delivery of Bernstein's music which was simply magnificent. Chris Rees and his 28-piece orchestra brought out every nuance of the score and never at any time overpowered ensemble or soloist alike. From the energy soaked 'Cool', 'Dance at the Gym' and 'America' to the light and airy 'I Feel Pretty' and 'Officer Krupke' to the poignant 'Tonight', Chris and the orchestra provided every cast member with a superb musical canvas from which, in every case, their voices took flight. The work that Chris had obviously done throughout the rehearsal period was clear in the depth of harmony from his ensemble cast and the jaw dropping quality of 'solo' numbers throughout the evening.

Matt Wesson had a clarity and flexibility in his voice that I have rarely heard before, bringing when required great power but also a gentle beauty in 'Tonight'. Ella Greenwood shone all evening. Her range of delivery, matching mood to music was especially apparent in the key duets 'One Hand, One Heart' and 'A Boy like that & I Have a Love' and was a pleasure to witness.

Judie Matthews was simply outstanding as Anita managing to bring out every facet of her character from sassy alpha female leading the Shark ladies, and her conflicting loyalty to Maria. Judie was committed in every scene, in dance, acting and vocal delivery and always drew your attention without a hint of over-performance.

Patrick McChrystal managed to pack a significant amount of energy and passion into his Riff. He very effectively conveyed the confusion of his loyalty to both his friend Tony and the Jets making his ultimate fate all the more moving. As to the rest of the 'Gang members' and 'Adults' there were simply too many individual performances of great quality to name all concerned, so please do not be offended if you are not called out here.

Rachael Rees once again delivered a quality of choreography that was perfectly matched to the production. It challenged the cast while being well judged to the ability of the group and at all times supported and enhanced the production especially in 'America', 'Dance at the Gym' and 'Officer Krupke'.

The action on stage was enhanced by the universally high quality of costume, set, sound and lighting design throughout the production. The challenge of delivering the balance of sound with the orchestra being behind the set rather than in the pit, was exceptionally well managed by Rob Kettridge and team.

Clearly a production of this quality doesn't happen by accident and Amanda Hall and Ross Lowe must of course be congratulated for their vision, attention to detail and skill in bringing this production of West Side Story to such vivid life. I had a great night at the theatre so many thanks to you and all at Carlton Operatic.


"A production that all fans of musical theatre need to see" - Theatre Online

"Visually exciting choreography and talent" - Nottingham Post

"The singing is just magnificent" - Sardines Magazine

"Carlton Operatic make this winning and thrilling show one the highlights of the Theatre Royal calendar - 5 stars" - EastMidlandsTheatre.com

"The talent is unquestionable... an enchanting and energetic production" - HeyWhatsOnNotts

Download the reviews in full here