Merton school pupils prepare for a performance inspired by musical West Side Story

Wimbledon Guardian: East and West: Preparations are underway for the musical inspired by West Side Story East and West: Preparations are underway for the musical inspired by West Side Story

Pupils from all over the borough are preparing to unite for a performance inspired by the classic Broadway musical, West Side Story.

Led by the creative learning team at New Wimbledon Theatre (NWT), 140 secondary-school pupils will perform in East & West on Tuesday, July 15.

Rehearsals are already in motion for the nine groups of teenagers who have been asked to create performances around the theme of social divisions.

Professional theatre director Kate McGregor, who is directing the performance, said: "The inspiration for East and West came from the point that the borough is very divided so we really wanted to bring together schools across the borough aware the divide exists."

Participating groups include Cricket Green School, Harris Academy Merton, Harris Academy Morden, Perseid School, Ricards Lodge High School, SHINE Merton Saturday School, The SMART Centre and Uptown UK.

Miss McGregor said: "All the pieces are completely different.

Uptown UK have made a piece about a revenge killing, whereas at Ricards Lodge the response was completely different which is what's so lovely.

"What we really want to do is bring young people together from all of the borough."

Dances are being co-ordinated by Olivier award winning hip-hop theatre and dance company Boy Blue Entertainment (BBE) who have created the stunning choreography for the production.

East & West; New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway; Tuesday, July 15; 2.30pm and 7.30pm; £4; atgtickets.com

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