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English theatre: West Side Story

Secondary school went to see “West Side Story”, the famous musical play performed by La Tournee  with native English speaking actors. We went to the Auditorio de Paiporta with a group of teachers and here is a brief report.

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Now, unless you are from another planet you won´t know of this American romantic musical drama which is an absolute classic and a must, which tells the story of a romance between an American boy, Tony and a Puerto Rican girl, Maria who fall in love but their love cannot be… Rather like William Shakespeare´s play Romeo & Juliet which is where some of the story originates.

We asked 4ESO pupils to conduct a short interview  with some of the pupils from 1,2 & 3 ESO. Here is what some of them said about West Side Story…(WSS)

Maria Torro (2ESO) said that she loved it because she enjoyed the actors’ English accents. She also said that they, the actors, did a great job playing the roles of the characters in WSS.

 Ernesto Gaspar (3ESO) thought the singing was excellent in the play.

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Most pupils agreed with him that “I like to live in America” was the most enjoyable song in the play.

Pedro Viguer (1ESO) said he would like to be a Jet as he liked the role of the actors who were Jets!

Pedro also thought that the play was easy to understand because of the dedication of the teacher (Mr Joseph) who taught him about what the pupils in his class were going to see in West Side Story. However, Jorge Segura (1ESO) did not like the way the actors performed in WSS. Perhaps we can let the pupils invent a new version for next year with Jorge playing an instrumental role in deciding which play we should perform. Who knows, he could be a future Hollywood star from Valencia, via Edelweiss school!!

 Marta Pérez (1ESO) loved the tension between the Jets & the Sharks when they danced around the stage while Cova (2ESO) thought the play was entertaining, especially the songs and is looking forward to watching the film version very soon. Then she can use her brilliant singing voice to sing to her class! We are sure she has talent. And we cannot wait to hear her sing!

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Well, that´s all we have space for, but before I end, I must say that two years ago Edelweiss pupils went to see Frankenstein and last year we saw Beetlejuice which was a popular show on Broadway in New York so when the actors of the theatre company offered us the opportunity to see an adaptation of West Side Story, we simply had to go and see another hit!

 Let’s hope that next year’s play in English with native English actors will be as successful as the last three. Any parent wishing to see the preview of the forthcoming play, please contact the school for information of when, where and what…By the way, the preview will be free for teachers and parents!

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Text and pictures by Richard McKenzie, Secondary teacher 

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