As part of the A Level Music course, one area of study is Musical Theatre. They examine the work of a range of composers, including the legendary Leonard Bernstein. The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester have staged an acclaimed re-imagining of Bernstein’s West Side Story and our students were wowed by it. Caitlyn Schaffer, Student Ambassador for Music had the following to say:

As a huge fan of West side Story and Leonard Bernstein, I was very excited to hear it was to be performed at the Royal Exchange in Manchester with whole new choreography andorchestration. I went in with huge expectations and they were definitely met. The minimalistic set leaves a lot to the imagination, but the great acting, singing and dancing help you fill in the gaps yourself. The choreography had a great modern twist to it and it was great to hear all the musical features we discussed in class about Bernstein; his use of ostinatos, intervals and complex time signatures. The band in particular was my highlight- especially the percussion section. It was a great trip organised by the performing arts & Music department that was wonderfully educational and entertaining. I definitely recommend!

If you want to take up Caitlin’s recommendation, you can do: West Side Story runs until 25 May and the production¬† has been so popular that the Royal Exchange have announced that the show will be returning to the famous in the round venue in April and May 2020