Gangs of New York

TAKE a trip to 1950s New York this week as the Glasgow Music Theatre plays it cool in West Side Story.

The amateur group returns to Eastwood park theatre to follow up a successful debut show — Little Shop of Horrors in July last year – and this time the company's spoiling for a fight.

An adaptation of the Romeo and Juliet story, it's about two young lovers torn between their families and friends — and of course the infamous gangs, the Jets and the Sharks.

Playing female lead Maria is 21-year-old westender Kirsty Leith — a dream part for the Glasgow university student.

She told Live: "It's the role of a lifetime and I was absolutely thrilled when I got the call to say I'd landed it".

Kirsty's role as star-cross'd lover may be helped since she's recently found romance with violinist Andrew, who plays in the group's orchestra.

She commented: "It's wonderful having him there every night playing in the pit. Sadly it means he'll never get to watch me on stage, but I'm secretly relieved — he won't see the steamy scenes between Maria and Tony".

Meanwhile 17-year-old Ewan Macleod, from Clarkston, takes on the role of the youngest Jet, Baby John — his biggest acting part yet.

The Williamwood high pupil met director Amy Glover at a wedding.

He explained: "I was asked to audition and the next thing I knew I was part of the gang — literally.

"The rest of the Jets are older and bigger than me, but I don't let them push me around".

And for director Amy Glover, West Side Story is not only an entertaining story, but a topical one.

She told Live: "The Jets and the Sharks are just angry kids out of their depth — and this kind of violence still happens.

"There's no good versus evil, no right versus wrong — just damaged and desperate young people with nothing to lose".

Amy added: "This production strips the show back to those basics. It'll be like you're seeing it for the first time".

West Side Story plays Eastwood park theatre from January 18. Curtain up 7.30pm: 2.30pm Saturday matine). Tickets 12.50p 9.500p conc.) from 577 4970.