Grammar at School Leeds duo make

Leeds Grammer School pupils Megan Gilbert and Amar.
Leeds Grammer School pupils Megan Gilbert and Amar.

A talented duo at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) will be getting their teeth into principal roles as ‘Sharks’ girls in a major production of West Side Story this August.

Amara Okereke and her class mate Megan Gilbert, from Barwick-in-Elmet, beat off 1,000 applicants nationwide in the 40 strong cast for the parts.

In this summer’s National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) production Amara Okereke, from Adel, will play leading lady Maria, while her classmate Megan Gilbert, from Barwick in Elmet, will play the supporting role of Rosalia.

The musical, set in 1950s New York explores the rivalry of street gangs the Jets and the Sharks and their members’ ill fated love affairs.

Following an initial audition to select the ensemble for the show, the girls were called back to audition for principal roles.

Amara said: “It’s really exciting to get the lead role of Maria and I’m looking forward to the performances. The musical director and assistant are very precise and we do it over and over to perfect it. They treat us like professionals and hold nothing back; we learn lots of tips from their experience to help improve our performance.”

Megan said: “The rehearsals are very intense, with a creative team who are industry professionals. We learn a lot from them.”

Following an intensive three week rehearsal period, NYMT will perform West Side Story between 21 and 24 August at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester.