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ST ALBANS SCOUTS & GUIDES GANG SHOW 2016


Once again we were treated to a super evening’s entertainment – it never fails to amaze me how good a show St Albans Scouts and Guides can bring to their audience.


The cast on the whole were younger than in previous years, but the energy and enthusiasm in the group numbers was excellent, with some very good soloists too.  


After being slightly critical of the sound balance last year, I thought this year it was good throughout, which is no mean feat at the Arena.  Well done sound team.


Director Hermione Drew and her team put so much thought and diversity into the numbers, which must be difficult to achieve year after year, but we are always treated to excellence on every front.


Eleanor Petch as MD uses delightful arrangements provided by a team of musicians, which translate well to the stage, and also give the cast interest in what they are singing.  The band was particularly pleasing this year.


Choreography throughout was suitable for all abilities, and gave everyone a chance to shine in their own particular field of expertise – ballet, tap, street and general movement.  Well done to Claire Keates and her team.


The opening is always good, drawing the audience in straight away, and involving them – I liked the blue jackets with white shirts, as the jackets picked up different colours from the lighting, which continually changed the look and enhanced the musical skills of the cast. Alice Mitchell and Luke Dixon put over their number well, it was a full-on opening number.


I think the costumes this year were even better than last year, and everyone looked so good in them – colourful, neat and tidy, with good hairstyles from everyone.  Attention to detail like this is always appreciated by an audience.  


Technically everything appeared to run smoothly, with some great sets again. Very clever cut outs for the Cheshire Cat and the JCB number.


The Longest Time was one of the highlights of the show for me – four very well matched voices from Jayden Thornton, Matt Lee, Dan Wright and Adam McKinnon, Dan and Adam were very strong in their solo parts, and I loved it.


The Alice set was very well done – Chloe Vickers as the White Rabbit showed impressive acrobatic skills, and Mia Vickers was a charming Alice.  The costumes really helped make the piece.  Hannah Fox as the Red Queen commanded the stage, and had a really nice voice.  I liked the grouping in this set, choreographically interesting, and the back to back configuration was worthy of note.


The Nursery Rhymes song was stunning – Katherine Blake looked great, and delivered the number from start to finish with a finesse and seriousness that made it all the more captivating – excellent, and probably my most favourite part of the whole show for its ingenuity.


The Airport Security sketch started a little slowly, but then gathered momentum, with some very amusing characters passing through!


The Cameras set was colourful and nicely devised.  Thomas Kent led the way musically, with the well-dressed models looking very good. Owen Tyley gave the animal section lots of impact, helped by the charming big cats, whose tap dancing I enjoyed, plus zebras and other animals.  


The Optician sketch was different and well done by the two girls.


The finale of Act 1 left the audience on a high – with good singing, excellent harmonies and all in all a very effective musical number.


I loved the Stationery set – so much attention to detail in the costumes, absolutely no doubt what everyone was supposed to be, from the post-it notes, through to the paper clips, glue sticks, crayons, etc – and the pencil sharpener section was extremely well done.  Good choreography again, which the cast coped with well, and obviously enjoyed.


The Family sketch was very true to life and executed well.


I thoroughly enjoyed the technicality of the props for the JCB song, which was sung by Jevon Langridge, very well-presented by the cast, and a triumph for the props team.  This led on to Holding On where some good partnership work was to the fore, then we launched into 500 Miles, which again was very well done by all involved.


I liked the team dance, it was edgy and suited the music very well.


The Instruments section gave plenty of scope for both costume and movement – I thought all the parts were really well done, with Lottie Ward and Emma Smillie performing well in the drum song.  Jayden Thornton gave Johnny Be Good loads of energy and expression, with the jiving going on around her.


Beth Withers and Owen Tyley performed the Compass and Maps number really well.


The news videos were good in both content and how they were presented.


Then we came to the finale – Mia Vickers, Matt Lee and Louisa Kataria started it off with an appealing rendition of Just One Person, then the tabs opened and once again we were treated to that huge wall of sound when the entire cast started singing – always a very heart-stopping moment, increasing the enjoyment of the whole finale.  


Once again a superb show, a production that excelled in all areas.  Many congratulations to everyone involved.





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St. Albans & District Scouts & Guides

ANNUAL GANG SHOW 2016

review date: 11tH Feb 2016 at Alban Arena, St Albans

Director: Hermione Clulow   MD: Eleanor Petch Choreographer: Claire Keates

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