NEVER have two opposing gangs been such good friends.

This year’s Perins School production of West Side Story! drew in hundreds of audience members during a three-night run at The Grange – a professional opera venue known around the world.

The storyline, based on the classic musical of the same name, followed two people from rival gangs who had fallen in love.

Creative arts director Marilitsa Alexiou said: “Something special happened this year!

“Rehearsals with these talented children have been, not only professionally undertaken with a level of maturity beyond their years, but also with tremendous fun.

“They are the youngest cast to date, with the most challenging roles and it’s hard to believe that some of the leads are just 13 years old.”

This year, the school incorporated a new orchestra made up of past and present students, staff, parents, and members of the local community.

Mel Cotton, director of music, said: “It has been the most incredible journey to prepare such a breath-taking musical score for the show, and hopefully an enjoyable experience for all.

“The school will be eternally grateful to all the hard work and dedication shown by the orchestra, without whom, there would simply be no show.”

The set, described as “worthy of the West End”, was created by M3 Productions.

Photos: Leela Bennett Photography.