The Nice Swan Theatre Company revives West Side Story as part of its on-going mission to regenerate the regions amateur theatre.

Fresh from the successful run of Shakespeare’s As You Like It at the Peoples’ Theatre, the Nice Swan Theatre Company launch their vision for West Side Story.

The classic musical based upon the ideas of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet tells the story of the forbidden love between two rival gang members ‘Tony’ and ‘Maria’, a story that encompasses passion, comedy and tragedy. With well known numbers such as ‘I Feel Pretty’, ‘Tonight’ and ‘Somewhere’, it has thrilled audiences for generations and with Nice Swan’s inimitable style the hope is that it will continue to speak to original fans plus a new generation of theatre goers with a promising production this year.

It has been this ‘new generation’ that has been at the forefront of Nice Swan Theatre Company’s aim since its conception in 2008. Creators Ben Hunt and Jamie Gray envisioned a company that could offer a stepping stone between amateur and professional theatre to students in the region. A three pronged approach of productions, workshop classes and event participation has certainly made this possible and developed the group beyond all expectations in only a short period of time.

Their production of Rent in 2009, the North East premiere of Spring Awakening in 2010 and As You Like It in 2011 have been showered with praise from the critics but, more importantly to the team, have given opportunities to many youngsters aged 16-25 in the region.

The audition processes have allowed more than 150 youngsters to experience a taste of the demands of the acting profession and those that have gone on to star in the shows have been a part of an amateur group that really expects professional standards at every level.

Managing Director, Jamie Gray ‘I am very excited about the ideas that Artistic Director, Ben Hunt has for West Side Story, it is certainly going to be something special and I am proud to be producing the show during the Peoples Theatre Centenary year.’

West Side Story will open at the Peoples’ Theatre in September. Tickets will be on sale from May 2011.