Full steam ahead is the message for The Danish New Works Development Center after seeing one of only two performances on the Fringe.
50 years after West Side Story first hit the Broadway stage with an adaption of Romeo and Juliet, this musical is based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream and is also transferred to New York City in the ‘50s. Central Park acts as the forest and the Italian families are involved in the violent underworld.
This showcase made maximum impact on the ears and eyes with a superb cast backed up by a first-class band. The standard of the cast was exceptionally high from the leads to the New Yorkers/fairies - the choreography was like a west end show and a cast of under 20 created a sound that larger productions struggled to replicate in the same theatre.
While maybe unfair to mention anyone in front of others, I thought that Ole Lahde as Puck, the menacing Oberon (Martin Haybe) and Sara Gadborg as Titania were outstanding. The music was good without any song being memorable at a first hearing. To that extent and maybe with a less transferable storyline it is unlikely to be a new West Side Story. The tyre shop choral group injected for a comedy aside to the main plot did not work for me unless they re-emerge in a longer production to greater effect. The balance of a powerful combination of voice and music was that it was difficult to catch all the words and if they were designed to carry the story then the audience might miss out.
As a showcase, this was an excellent 60 minutes of high tempo music delivered by an excellent young cast.
Times: Aug 18-19 at 20:45