X-Entricity have done it again! A full house on opening night was testament to the reputation this young company enjoys in Herefordshire and their polished production of West Side Story can only add to that.

The choreography of the first scene, as the Sharks and Jets goad and provoke each other, was tight, intricate and full of the explosive energy this tragic story of New York gangs and star-crossed lovers calls for ... and that was before a single note had been sung!

West Side Story is a musical with some of the most memorable numbers from any Broadway show - from Maria to Somewhere via America and I Feel Pretty - meaning expectations are high! But this talented cast didn't disappoint for a moment - Lucas Abbott playing Tony delivered Maria to a spellbound audience which responded with whoops of delight and resounding applause. So good, in fact, that I for one could have listened to him sing it again ... and then again.

It's not enough for a musical to bring us great singing - a story of love and violence like West Side Story needs great acting too, and Lucas gave us a perfect Tony - a man who, having found love, sees the posturing, antagonistic fighting between the Sharks and Jets as pointless, a man who has grown-up while his contemporaries maintain their childlike positions, their self-righteous grievances and their need to fight it out.

The two female leads, Emily Samways as Maria and Stephanie Millington as Anita, Maria's brother Bernardo's girlfriend were outstanding, Emily creating a sweetly determined Maria, and Stephanie bringing Anita fully to life, a girl with attitude, edge and defiance hiding her softer, more romantic nature.

The brilliance of an X-entricity show, though, is that it's never left to the principals to do all the work - instead you get a show, as here, where everyone shines, whether their part is big or small, and in which the same impressive commitment is seen in every performer - making the ensemble numbers - America and Gee, Officer Krupke in particular - unforgettable. The dancing - Sarah-Jane Matthews' choreography is outstanding and brilliantly executed throughout - and the singing effortlessly combined, and every number delighting their appreciative audience.

Directed by Stephen Liddle with musical direction by Jack Campey, this is a must-see show - and one that has professionalism and talent oozing from every pore.

West Side Story is at The Courtyard until Saturday.

To book, call the box office on 01432 340555 or visit courtyard.org.uk