Take a group of youngsters and their adult leaders, add some very corny jokes, a large portion of well known songs (old and new) and you have the makings of a Gang Show. The youngsters are members of the scouting and guiding organisation in the Ipswich area.
The Ipswich Gang Show has been running for a number of years, producer Ken Smith is a former Gang Show boy himself (and will admit he’s no longer a boy). Therefore the show is well established and the format probably one they’ve done numerous times, however it’s keeping the theme “fresh” which is a challenge, but something this Gang Show manages to do every year.
There’s a good mix of music and comedy, some of Gang Show founder Ralph Reeder’s musical standards have cleverly been added to this year’s production.
Unlike school productions where adult staff manage and pupils perform, in a Gang Show everyone gets involved. It’s a team effort and this only serves to strengthen the relationship between group leaders and scouts and guides.
First half highlights include a funny Mastermind sketch and musical homages to Whitney Houston and dance numbers.
For me though it was the second half which really stood out with some superb pieces including great musical numbers with homage to West End stage show blockbusters and a very funny dance number, Those Dancing Feet, which clearly had been very well rehearsed and choreographed!
The Finale includes the very much of the moment, The Greatest Showman performed by the entire cast… terrific!
The Ipswich Gang Show demonstrates the sense of being part of a family where everyone has a part and why years after it’s inception that the scout and guide movement still has a part to play in today’s society.
Many of the Show’s audience will be cast member’s family, but this is a show worthy of a wider audience and testament that today’s youngsters aren’t all on street corners causing trouble… give it your support.
The Ipswich Gang Show is at The Great School Theatre, Ivry Street, Ipswich until this Saturday (13th April). See www.ipswichgangshow.org.uk for ticket details
Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine