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HARPENDEN & WHEATHAMPSTEAD DISTRICT SCOUTS 2014 GANG SHOW
Once again Harpenden pulled it out of the bag – I liked the use of projection before the show, which gave an insight into what goes into getting a show like this on stage, and all credit to the cast of some 150 young people and Ewan and his technical crew for making this a bright and lively production, which showcased some very able and talented performers and allowed those less able to join in at their own level.
A bright start, where I understand Emma Risley was the last minute replacement, so
particularly brave -
The opening number itself pulled the whole cast onto the stage, and I was particularly impressed with the 16 older performers downstage left and right, who were all very animated, The choreography was simple but effective.
The scenery was good throughout – very colourful, and well-
I really liked The Rivals sketch – very well-
The ‘Hairy Poppins’ set was charming, I liked the way the front door was used, it created the feel of outside and inside, but was instantly moveable Bearing in mind this was performed by the younger members (Mini Gang) it was very accomplished, and again words were very clear.
‘Last Day of Camp’ was particularly colourful and lively, again with good choreography,
and some funny interludes. The girl trio in yellow downstage left -
I loved the ‘Origin of Irish Dancing’ – very well done by the lads, a scream, but they were very disciplined and in time, making it a good all round number.
The final set of Act 1 was visually stunning, and the 7 choristers sang well, I also
particularly liked the three young ladies when they went upstage left, their faces
in the ‘surprise’ section were very good, during Kirstie Bentley’s song which she
sang with lots of expression. I liked the way the groom Edd Ingram kept his character
going the whole way through. He created a strong character, showing good voice range
as well. Georgie Eagles was a charming bride. She is very capable and her vocal
skills are developing well, she just needs a little more confidence in herself. The
slightly different timing for With this Ring was well-
‘Market Day’ was a great start to Act 2 – plenty going on. The opening number is
difficult, but it was sung well, I thought the voices blended really well. I liked
the use of the old cockney-
‘The Judge is Right’ was amusing and nicely accomplished by the cast. Again good diction from Fieldie Harrison, Sam Todd and Robert Hanson.
‘Wonderland’ was another charming set – started off very well by Andrew Harkness as the White Rabbit, who gained in confidence over the duration of his song. He had an unusual voice which fitted the part well. I loved the tableaux behind the gauze, always interesting, and gave the song meaning. I thought Gemma Haines as Alice was very good, a nice earthy voice. This was the set with the UV scene – which was lovely, not too overdone, so classy in its portrayal.
I really liked ‘Imaginary Friends’ – another instance of good diction and projection, making this very understandable and funny. The cast Beattie Hartley, Charlie Hartley, Maddie Harkness, Howie Atton and Callum Heyes, all interacted really well.
Another good number visually featured lovely red dresses and again good choreography, with everyone getting really involved.
‘Think’ gave us the projection showing in school – which was thought-
Then we came to the finale – Emma Risley and Callum Haward, the featured singers who began the song were very good, and I loved the swell of sound as everyone joined in. We were all able to join in with a rousing chorus of ‘Riding Along on the Crest of a Wave’, which no Gang Show would be complete without. The final number with soloist Annemarie Playle was a good number to finish on – everyone looking happy and excited.
Costumes were all very good, and I particularly liked the overall look of the wedding sequence, where everyone looked very smart, and the Wonderland sequence, so again well done. A great achievement to costume that many young people, and keep it fresh and relevant.
Musically good, with some nice harmonies, and the band accompanied well, always keeping that essential sound balance between them and the stage, with a good sound and stepping up where needed.
Once again, I really enjoyed the Gang Show, thought everyone worked their socks off
and gave the audience a super evening’s entertainment. Lots of humour, and some
serious moments to make it a well-
Harpenden & Wheathampstead District Scouts
“2014 GANG SHOW” 8th January 2014
Harpenden Public Halls
Producer & MD: Ewan Murray
Sketch Director: Mike Layzell
Choreographer: Cathy Washbrooke