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“33rd  Annual Gang Show”

Once again I was thrilled by this engaging and well-produced show.  A tribute to David Barker in his 10th and final year as producer.  This was a well-planned and executed production, I felt everyone involved had gained in confidence, and presented a very professional show, with all the cast giving it their all.

The opening tableau was very effective, and well done to the sound team, they got the sound balance exactly right from the start, and maintained it throughout so that we didn’t miss a thing.  Eleanor Petch the MD had a good band that enhanced the cast, and gave us some lovely arrangements of familiar numbers, whilst ensuring that the cast were guided well by her and the music.  The costumes were again very colourful – congratulations to the costume team – everything was effective and looked good.

The opening numbers really did get the party started, the simple but effective choreography worked well. The choreographry team managed to set moves that meant the cast really outdid themselves on that front this year.  The My My MY scene was fun – the four guys acted their parts really well, and got expression into it which brought out the humour well.  

The set for Dangerous Waters was excellent – and I liked the way the cast used the levels so well – there were some very good dance moves intermingled with the singing and the costumes of the different factions were again very good, with the solo singers all adding to the feel of the scene.

Angels was a beautiful number – both in look and feel – with an excellent back projection – which enhanced the white costumes.  The harmonies were good,  the six singers blended well, and also showed their voices off in their solo parts.

I liked Dressing the Part – it was lively and had excellent movement.  The black and silver theme worked particularly well, and I liked the way the stairs and the platform were used, as well as the main stage.  The flow from song to song was good, and I liked the rap from Oli Fox and Shaquille Trotman - the back projection showing different shoes added interest to the number.  

The Health and Safety sketch occasionally lost a little of its impetus, it could have been sharper, but it was good to see so many youngsters really throwing themselves into it.

The finale of Act One was a joy – the sound and harmonies were good, the white costumes brilliant, and the lighting especially effective – the yellow light fading through the pink and lighting each section differently, with the blue light creeping in at times, gave a beautiful look which enhanced the wonderful sound.

Act 2 started with the Hive of Activity – which was very lively - the black and yellow of the bees was excellent and again the lighting enhanced the action.  Elizabeth Debney was an imposing Queen Bee who sang well.  The Olympic Countdown was very good – they worked their socks off, and it all came together well adding humour to the proceedings.

The One Life section was beautiful – the faces of the cast on the backdrop as babies and young children was utterly charming, it combined to create the mood and feel of the songs.   Strictly No Talent was fronted very well by Lucy Andrews she was confident in the presenter role, and I liked the names for the panel.  There were lots of different approaches used, which made this interesting and funny.

The circus scene showed that the cast’s natural exuberance could be reined back, with sadness and a more serious side creeping in alongside some more upbeat songs  – but it was never dull, and the standard of performance was kept up.  Costumes were very colourful, the set was well thought out and gave the cast plenty of action points.  Dance Fiction was an extremely good dance number.

So, to the finale –a good opening, and the absolute onslaught of sound when the curtains opened on the whole cast was wonderful.  

I am never disappointed by the standard and professionalism of the Gang Show, and this year I felt it stepped up a notch from last year, and is always one of my favourite visits.  Well done to everyone who made it an excellent show.

Nova Horley


St. Albans & District Scouts & Guides


review date: 9TH Feb 2011 at Alban Arena, St Albans

Producer: David Barker Director: Hermione Clulow   MD: Eleanor Petch Choreographer: Claire Keates

Assisted by Hermione Clulow & Avril Drew

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