IT was spectacles and lipglosses at dawn last week as the hugely talented Eyemouth and District Community Youth Theatre Group took the classic musical ‘West Side Story’ and completely reinvented it as part of the town’s Herring Queen celebrations.
The result? ‘Geek Side Story’ which took the original story and gave it a modern twist which was bang on trend at a time when ‘Glee’ and ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ are well in vogue.
The plot centered around the simmering rivalry between the WAGs and the Geeks, led by Chelsea and Georgie respectively.
The two girls in the parts, Lara Ward and Carly Robertson, had quite a task to keep their warring peers in check while dealing with their characters’ own issues but from start to finish both girls put in commanding performances, topped off with some fine vocals.
Producer Andrea Thacker deserves credit for the songs she put at the forefront of the action.
The cast had to get their vocals around some well known chart hits from the 90s and 00s along with a few songs from the land of musicals and they certainly excelled.
Spice Girl’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ saw the Geeks and WAGS at their confident best while ‘WAG Stars’ (a terrific re-working of Pink’s number one ‘So What’ and ‘Material Girl’ gave each group of girls the chance to impress.
Although it was Lara and Cara who headed the cast, their fellow WAGS and Geeks certainly made a strong impression too.
The conflict between the two cliques didn’t go un-noticed by the rest of their community, with two characters particularly keen to air their views. Step forward Jock and Jeannie, two pensioners who used their disgust with the youngsters to reminisce about the good old days.
‘I Remember It Well’ name checked the likes of The Whale and The Fleet and their hilarious delivery of it earned Rory Fairbairn and Kirsten Hood a much deserved hearty round of applause from the High School audience.
For Lara and Carly’s solo numbers Andrea looked to the musicals for two contrasting songs, which although different in style suited both the style of the show and the girl’s young voices.
Carly was handed ‘Out Here On My Own’ from ‘Fame’ and grabbed her moment in the spotlight with both hands while Lara revelled in ‘Popular’ from ‘Wicked’, whilst giving Alice (Zoe Burns) a WAG style makeover.
The school talent show gave all of the WAGS and Geeks some time at the centre of the action and it was nice to see a variety of different cast members given solos.
Train’s ‘Hey Soul Sister’ and The Sound of Music’s ‘Favourite Things’ showcased the Geek’s vocals, with one or two particularly impressive singers while the contrasting ‘Sound of the Underground’ and ‘Son Of A Preacherman’ saw the WAGs stake their claim for victory.
Leading their respective regiments in style, it was left to Georgie and Chelsea to end the talent show with Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’. It’s a song that there’s been no escaping from this summer and was perfect for Carly and Lara’s vocal ranges.
Another girl who’s absolutely everywhere at the moment is Rihanna and her number one ‘Take A Bow’ united the two leads with Zoe who led the song confidently.
A supporting cast which included Shannon Smith as Crystal; Hamish Blackie as the Park Warden/Big Luke; Jack Ritchie as Hermit O’Leary and Grant Maltman as Little Mik joined with the principals for a rousing and poignant finale of Sugababes ‘Ugly’,
With lyrics like ‘people are all the same and we only get judged by what we do’ it fitted ‘Geek Side Story’ like a glove, as did Lady Ga Ga’s ‘Born This Way’, the song the youngsters took their bows to.
Both songs are about being true to yourself and not letting others get you down and with talent like theirs, all of Eyemouth Youth Theatre Group should be brimming with confidence.