Musical production celebrates headmaster's efforts at Abberley

ONE of the world’s best-known musicals has been staged at a school near Tenbury Wells as part of a farewell tribute to a long-standing headmaster.

The pupils of Abberley Hall School at Great Witley starred in their own spectacular version of West Side Story, the classic Broadway show.

The production was the choice of John Walker, who will be retiring as headmaster of the school at the end of this academic year after 18 years’ service.

“I have always loved the passion and music of West Side Story so when asked to select which should be our annual senior school production, it was an easy choice,” said Mr Walker.

The show, which originally opened on Broadway in 1957 and received a nomination for best musical in the same year, is loosely based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

The story explores the tension and rivalry between two feuding gangs from contrasting cultures and backgrounds; the Jets from downtown Manhattan and the Sharks, originally from Puerto Rico.

Clare Eynon, head of drama at Abberley Hall who directed the show, said that all 12 and 13-year-old pupils at the school had either performed on stage or worked as part of the front of house, sound or lighting teams.

“It was a spectacular production and the children worked exceptionally hard to make it a success for their headmaster.

“They rehearsed for several months and they put on a great production with wonderful costumes,” she added.

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