Donegal Town's AVS present West Side Story

Donegal students are all set to present one of the great classic musicals this week

Donegal Town's AVS present West Side Story

AVS students at their final dress rehearsal in preparation for Tuesday night 's West Side Story

Donegal Town this week will be alive this week with song and dance thanks to the amazing students from the Abbey Vocational School.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City as two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the American Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. 

Weekend dress rehearsals for the busy week ahead (Photos: Siobhan McGowan) 

Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.This week the Abbey Vocational School (it started last night) presents the amazing classic theatre extravaganza of  'West Side Story". This is a show not to be missed with an amazing cast of over 135 students from Transition Year of the Abbey Vocational School and some first and second year students. The talent is mind blowing and it is a show that will take your breath away. 


Set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid 1950s, an ethnic, blue-collar neighborhood we have the exotic skirts of the Shark Girls with the vibrant & exciting dances contrasting with the  shabby shirts & converse of the Puerto Rican and New York gang members. This reinforces their tough, deprived backgrounds in a spectacle to behold.

The Abbey boys produce a fabulous display of choreographed action and dancing in the rumble scene which can not be equalled!

Our modern day Romeo and Juliet, Tony and Maria embark on a romance doomed from the outset. Our Lead Protagonists Rachel, Ryan and lead actors tell the story through song with some exceptional talent on display here. 

The Abbey Vocational School Musical Community are delighted to present 'West Side Story' 

Students getting into character for this week's musical 

We’re honoured once again to have Rachel O’Connor back directing for us this year and she’s done a wonderful job of coaxing powerful and nuanced performances from the cast. Eillen Carr has once again helped bring the school show to a whole other level of professionalism, every note that is sung on stage she has been over and over with the cast and the effect of the harmonies is truly magnificent. She is assisted this year by musical teachers Sinead McCarthy. Lauren Kelly has worked tirelessly behind the scenes, giving every spare minute to create beautiful elegant and muscular choreography that is simply not to be missed.


With many thanks must go to Martin Gallagher and his team for the carefully crafted wooden frames for all the pieces. Mr Daly and his crew of Transition Year artists who painted the sets. Also, for Sean O'Connor's expertise. 

Many thanks must go to Rosemary Myers  and Mary Crawford going to great lengths to ensure the costumes are perfect! 

The rehearsals are completed, the scenes are prepared, roll on a week of drama, action and romance with West Side Story sure to be an utmost success!

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