Thursday, February 21, 2013
EVEN after years of attending the St Albans Gang Show I am still not sure if the most enthusiastic people there are the young people taking part, members of the audience or the adults who put so much time and effort into running the event.
But the huge level of energy that floods from the event is surely the thing that makes the annual event staged by St Albans Scouts and Guides, one of the city’s most successful happenings.
Gang Show in St Albans is now rated as the largest in the country and sets a marker for others. This year’s event, staged last week at the Alban Arena, continued with that tradition.
Even though there were big changes from last year – mostly behind the scenes after producer and director David Barker stepped down after a 10 year stint at the helm – the show was just as good, slick and professional as ever.
The main change as far as the audience was concerned was that amongst the 120 young people aged between 11 and 18 who made up the cast there were far more younger faces. But all that really did was to emphasise the fact that St Albans has an amazing pool of talent just waiting to be used.
Gang Show never names those who are starring in individual numbers, even when there are just two or three taking part in a sketch or a song and dance routine. But even without the names the level of performance demonstrated that this year’s intake has some outstanding young singers and dancers who will surely enhance future shows.
As usual this year’s show was packed with big, extremely colourful and often very loud song and dance routines featuring large numbers of the cast and, as usual they were all fun-packed experiences. Particularly fine this year was a colourful tribute to children’s author Roald Dahl.
The front-of-curtain numbers which fill in between scene changes have always been a feature of the show. Some are rib-tickling sketches while others are song or dance routines. This year my winners were an outstanding singing group and an equally fine dance routine.
But whatever is happening on the stage requires the support of the extremely able group of musicians under their director Eleanor Petch in the pit.
New producer and director Hermione Clewlow did an impressive job in bringing the entire event together in such a successful fashion and one can only hope that she continues in the role for some years to come.
The dedicated work of those who bring this annual outstanding show together each year ensures that dozens of young people are given an opportunity to discover their potential and develop their self-confidence.
The only downside is that this show can only be staged for a week each year and with sell-out audiences every night it means that all too few people get an opportunity to see what talented young people our city can produce.