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West Side Story showcases young talent in Manchester

This month audiences will be transported to 1950s New York in a National Youth Music Theatre adaptation of West Side Story.

West Side Story
© National Youth Music Theatre

Set in Manchester's Victoria Warehouse, the site specific production will see some of the UK's most talented young people taking on one of the most iconic musicals of all time.

Boasting a cast of 40 and an orchestra of 35, the piece will put a fresh spin on the American classic, while also maintaining the magical tale of two young idealistic lovers caught between warring street gangs, the Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks.

Director Nikolai Foster said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a new production of arguably one of the most significant and greatest musicals of all time. West Side Story represents the very best in music and dance storytelling, as relevant today as when it first exploded onto Broadway in the 1950s.

"The mighty Victoria Warehouse is an exceptional space - epic and uncompromising. It is here we shall create a piece of work contemporary in tone, ambitious in scale, immersive, truly explosive and unashamedly theatrical."

The National Youth Music Theatre was established in 1976 by Jeremy James Taylor, OBE. Throughout the years it has gone from strength to strength, producing award-winning international tours that has led Andrew Lloyd Webber to describe it as "the finest youth music theatre in the world".

West Side Story is at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, from 21-24 August.