St Albans Gang Show a hit again

Gang Show 2014 Gang Show 2014

John Manning
Friday, February 21, 2014
9:29 AM

For 35 years one regular show has hit the stage in St Albans to packed, enthusiastic audiences yet it is a show that, regrettably, few members of the general public ever get to see.

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This spectacular, packed with colour and music as well as technology as good as anything in the West End, is the St Albans Gang Show.

And this year’s event at the Alban Arena last week was no exception.

For five performances the cast of around 120 young performers from Scout and Guide groups in and around St Albans sang and danced their hearts out in what is probably the most spectacular theatrical event to be seen in the city.

Although it cannot claim to be the oldest gang show in the country – that honour goes to Harpenden – it is certainly the biggest and the huge team of adults who spend an entire year putting it together can be proud of their outstanding success.

This year the cast was one of the youngest for some time with larger than usual numbers at the bottom end of the age scale which starts at 12. But the result was a show that was as good as ever.

Although it largely took a well trodden path of singing and dance as well as comedy numbers, producer and director Hermione Drew had introduced some new technology, including some very amusing tongue in cheek send-ups of well-known TV adverts which were projected onto a screen.

As well as the youngsters on the stage and the scores of adults who make the event happen, there are also the equally important musicians who make up the top quality pit orchestra under musical director Eleanor Petch and the team of stagehands and technicians who ensure everything runs smoothly.

St Albans Gang Show is a huge production which, for those lucky enough to see it, shows the youth of St Albans at their very best. The great pity is that more members of the public cannot see this incredible event.

But as one of the team of adults explained, at the end of five intense performances the youngsters involved are completely shattered and simply could do no more.

But the lucky ones who do attend are already lining up for their tickets for next year’s event knowing full well that the young people of St Albans will provide them with yet another spectacular night of entertainment.

JOHN MANNING

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