WEST SIDE STORY Comes to Royal Exchange Theatre

Sarah Frankcom, Royal Exchange Artistic Director, creates a brand-new version of Broadway's biggest musical WEST SIDE STORY for the Royal Exchange Theatre's unique in-the-round stage. Celebrated for her reinterpretations of American classics, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN and her award-winning production OUR TOWN, she brings a new focus to the gang culture of the iconic Sharks and Jets with new choreography from Aletta Collins and orchestration by Jason Carr. The production runs in the Theatre from 6 April - 25 May.

This legendary musical is an incredible blend of music, dance, lyricism and performance, with a matchless songbook - MARIA, AMERICA, SOMEWHERE, TONIGHT - which makes WEST SIDE STORY one of the most powerful pieces of modern theatre ever created. Taking on the iconic roles of Tony and Maria are Andy Coxon and Gabriela Garcia.

Andy's credits include PIECES OF STRING (Mercury Theatre), HAIR (50th Anniversary Production at The Vaults, London), YANK! (Charing Cross Theatre, London), THE LAST FIVE YEARS (The Other Palace, London), BEAUTIFUL - THE Carole King MUSICAL (Aldwych Theatre, West End), SISTER ACT (Kilworth House Theatre), 20th CENTURY BOY - THE MARC BOLAN MUSICAL (UK Tour), ANOTHER WAY (Cockpit Theatre) and LES MISERABLES (Queen's Theatre, West End). Gabriela is originally from Mexico and trained at ArtsEd London. She played the lead role of Nina in the Olivier Award winning IN THE HEIGHTS (King's Cross Theatre). Most recently she played the role of Vanessa/Cover Fran in STRICTLY BALLROOM (West End).

The cast also includes Jocasta Almgill, Hannah Cadec, Natalie Chua, Jordan Cunningham, Frances Dee, Michael Duke, Pol Galcera, Sebastian Goffin, Tom Hodgkins, Justin-Lee Jones, Emily Langham, Michael Lin, Jack Lord, Fernando Mariano, Manuel Pacific, Ericka Posadas, Lukin Simmonds, Bree Smith, Christopher Tendai and Oliver Tester.

Sarah Frankcom is the Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre. Her recent productions include: DEATH OF A SALESMAN, OUR TOWN (UK Theatre Award for Best Director); THE LAST TESTAMENT OF LILLIAN BILOCCA (Hull City of Culture); HAPPY DAYS, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, THE SKRIKER (co-commission with MIF15) and HAMLET (all with Maxine Peake), BLINDSIDED, THAT DAY WE SANG and the Royal Exchange and MIF13 co-production THE MASQUE OF ANARCHY.

Aletta Collins returns to the Exchange following her work on the acclaimed SWEET CHARITY. She studied at the London Contemporary Dance School, was a dancer and choreographer for London Contemporary Dance Theatre and is a former Associate Artist at the Royal Opera House. Her choreographic work includes: THE TWILIGHT ZONE (Almeida); WIND IN THE WILLOWS - THE MUSICAL (UK Tour and West End); THE HAIRY APE (Old Vic/Park Avenue Armory, New York); BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM (Phoenix Theatre); MADE IN DAGENHAM (Adelphi Theatre) and ANNA NICOLE (Royal Opera House and Brooklyn Academy Of Music).

Jason Carr was associate composer at Chichester Festival Theatre, writing the musicals BORN AGAIN, THE WATER BABIES, SIX PICTURES OF LEE MILLER, and A CHRISTMAS CAROL. He orchestrated the Menier Chocolate Factory Productions of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC and LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (all also Broadway, winning the Drama Desk Award and two Tony nominations for Best Orchestrations).

The creative team also includes Designer Anna Fleischle, a multi-award-winning stage and costume designer whose credits include HANGMEN for which she won an Olivier Award (Apollo Theatre) and the smash-hit EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE (Phoenix Theatre). Lighting Designer Lee Curran returns to the Exchange following his work on JUBILEE. The team is completed by Sound Designer Richard Brooker, Musical Director Mark Aspinall, Costume Designer Polly Sullivan, Fight Director Kevin McCurdy, Assistant Choreographer Gareth Mole, Associate Designer Liam Bunster, Associate Sound Designer Sorcha Steele, Associate Sound Designer Owen Lewis and Assistant Director Atri Banerjee.

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