Details: New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1QG
In short: Faithful, if bland, recreation of the original, 50-year-old play based on New York gang conflict.
In full: Gangland violence has moved on so far since West Side Story premiered 50 years ago that it would need a massive revamp to assume once more the ability to shock with its aggression as well as delight with its romance.
This production opts not to bother trying and instead presses the nostalgia button to switch on a show that turns the brutality that should always be bubbling under into an atmosphere more redolent of an infant school playground than the mean streets of one of the most violent cities on earth. The songs are still great though and, credit where it might not be due, these kids can dance.
- 'Lacks serious bite but the dancing goes with a real swing.' Evening Standard