News, events and schools' information for families across Bath and West Wiltshire

Charlotte Johnstone reviews a tear jerking performances by students from two Bath secondary schools

Students at Beechen Cliff and Hayesfield schools, produced by Bath Theatre School, are performing West Side Story in front of packed audiences this week at the Roper Theatre at Hayesfield School in Bath. The show starts atmospherically with energy and excitement, plummeting the audiences straight into the heart of the rival gangs in gritty 1950s New York City.

The strong ensemble of Jets and Sharks exuded fiery determination and together with supporting characters, provides a great backdrop for the overarching and tender story of love and loss between Maria (Ella Markall) and Tony (Daniel Hammond), who were both in fine voice and emotionally mature on opening night.

Bernardo (George Fletcher) and Anita (Laura Hayes) were equally strong as the guiding parental figures for Maria. Riff (Hamish Metcalfe) offered a playful and determined characterisation as the leader of the Jets.

The production was slick, visually resplendent, with strong harmonies and was the most mature and polished school or youth production I have seen. All those involved should be commended for producing such a high standard production delivered with authenticity and depth.

West Side Story runs at the Roper Theatre Bath until Thursday 28th March. For more information and to book tickets, go to