Zest Theatre Group
Victor Harbor Town Hall
Until 05 Feb 2017

Review by Janice Bailey

Zest Theatre Group has been operating since 2011 in Victor Harbor. Their mission is to encourage and nurture new talent. Their latest production of “West Side Story” provides plenty of scope to challenge the predominantly young cast.

It is an ambitious project given that “West Side Story” (the musical version of the story of the ill-fated Romeo and Juliet) is such an iconic and well-known musical. They have also set themselves a difficult task given the constraints of the Victor Harbor Town Hall with its high stage. Many of these constraints have been overcome by using occasional entrances through the audience and the wings, thereby creating levels and added interest.

In the main Zest have been successful in presenting an entertaining showcase of enthusiastic, vibrant and talented performers. Director/Producer Terry Mountstephen, with Peta Bowey as co-Director, have assembled an energetic cast who deal with the difficult musical score in a manner expected of far more seasoned performers. Choreographer Sally Grooby has done well with the staging of the big ensemble numbers, while vocal coaches Peta Bowey and Dylan Rufus have produced the full sound expected from the many iconic numbers.

Ashley Penny portrays a charming Maria while Scott Murton is well cast as Tony and delivers a believable performance. Isobel Pitt delivers as the feisty Anita.

Zest deserve to be supported in order for them to continue their fostering of young people to have opportunities to perform and improve their craft.