A look at how West Side Story came together

Mon 30 Dec 2019

From creating the set, perfecting the choreography and working with the local community – we look back at how our spectacular Made at Curve production West Side Story came together.

1. This is the first year that licencing rights have allowed a new production of West Side Story to be created. Ellen Kane introduces brand-new choreography, Musical Director George Dyer and Musical Supervisor Sarah Travis bring exciting new orchestrations and Michael Taylor triumphantly transforms our stage into 1956 New York with his design.

2. It took almost 85 hours to create the 13 wedding dresses which appear during One Hand, One Heart.

3. The rehearsal process took just under four weeks, followed by a week of technical rehearsals, where the cast and production team went through the show slowly with the technical elements such as lighting, sound and automation.

4. 30 members of our Curve Young Company are involved in the production. The two teams; Team Sondheim and Team Bernstein, perform on alternate days.

5. Musical Director George Dyer conducts a 15-piece orchestra, the largest ever to perform on Curve’s stage.

6. The rubble you see on stage is actually made of polystyrene and steel decking.

7. Over 200 people have been involved in the preparation of the production, from cast to crew, dressers to sound engineers, wigs and stage managers, to Team Curve including Artistic, Front of House staff, the Box Office Team and Communications.

8. To understand the struggles of knife crime and gang culture in our own communities today, Chief Inspector Manjit Atwal from Leicestershire Police and staff and participants of the Violence Reduction Network met with cast members to provide further insight into their roles.

9. Artistic Director Nikolai Foster previously directed West Side Story for National Youth Music Theatre in Manchester and the cast included Jonathan Hermosa-Lopez – who now plays Benardo.

10. The show was rehearsed in our largest rehearsal room, Rehearsal Room 1. To replicate our composite concrete structure, we had a 2-floored scaffolding structure on wheels which had to be pushed by hand during scene changes.

Now extended until Sat 18 Jan – don’t miss the 5 Star show in Leicester!