‘Ground-breaking and exhilarating’ – boys see West Side Story

QE young musicians enjoyed a golden opportunity to see a sell-out performance of West Side Story – the first London revival of the ever-popular musical since 2008.

The show, featuring famous songs including Maria, America, Somewhere and Something’s Coming, was staged at Sadler’s Wells for just six weeks from the middle of August before setting off on a UK-wide tour.

“We were fortunate enough to obtain tickets to a sell-out performance,” said QE’s Director of Music, Kieron Howe. “Our boys were able to appreciate the Edexcel set work Something's Coming first-hand and in its true context, an opportunity denied to previous classes as the show has been absent from London's music scene.”

The award-winning West Side Story has gained legendary status since its first performance in 1951, with conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins. It features a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and, in his first big break, song lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This 2013 production was choreographed by Joey McKneely, who has worked extensively on Broadway and is a former assistant to Jerome Robbins.

""The show opened to rave reviews: “The brilliance of this powerful Romeo and Juliet adaptation is rediscovered,” – Guardian 9th August 2013; and "Ground-breaking choreography with exhilarating drive," – Evening Standard 9th August 2013.

The group of Year 10 musicians were accompanied on the trip by Mr Howe and Music Teacher Rebecca Lancelot. “It was an excellent opportunity for boys to experience and appreciate a world-class live musical only an hour's journey from school; a most enjoyable time was had by all.” said Mr Howe.