Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield. 2001 and 2012.
Set in the bustling New York City of the mid-1950s, the musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the Sharks from Puerto Rico are taunted by the Jets, a white working-class group. The young protagonist, Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre and remains one of the groups most powerful performances to date. This is a 1950's version of Shakespeare’s classical tragedy Romeo and Juliet, with a modern twist allowing for some amazing characterisation and unforgettable songs which leave people weeping by the final act.