Date 15th February 2024
Society St Albans Scout & Guide Gang Show
Venue Alban Arena, St Albans
Type of Production Musical
Director Hermione Drew
Musical Director Eleanor Petch
Choreographer Team led by Claire Keates


Author: Nova Horley

So good to see St Albans Gang Show back on song – such energy and confidence emanating from the cast of around 100 young people.

The scenery was very good, I particularly liked the changing Discs for Vinyl Floorfillers, inventive and for those of us not too well up on pop music, a good steer!   Other backdrops and props were extremely colourful and appropriate, making this a pleasing production on the eye.

The music was well-chosen to include different numbers, with a distinctly pop theme running through, and some very electronic sounds from the band – the MD did well on all levels, with a cast that really bought in to songs that they might not necessarily know,  with rap, jazz and other genres all covered.

The choreography team gave the cast some testing moves, all of which were accomplished well, and good to sees different takes on movement – not an easy task with so many different abilities.

Costumes as always were exemplary, I particularly liked the Birds of a Feather set, so colourful and well-conceived with robins, pigeons, flamingos and peacocks – a riot of colour.  I also liked the impact of the pink and silver opening costumes.  But everything looked good and fresh, with super tidy hairdos from everyone – well done.

Sound was a little suspect at the start, with the band overloud during Go Your Own Way, although it was adjusted so that sound balance was good for the rest of the show.  Lighting was fine, with plenty of atmospheric moments – I particularly enjoyed the snow storm.

The sketches were well-received with some very amusing moments.  All the participants projected really well, and injected real humour and understanding of their lines.

The opening is always uplifting, everyone comments on the wall of sound which comes from the whole cast giving their all, and throughout I noted the expressive faces which was very pleasing.

Cluedo was a good number, the different murder suspects were well-played and very much in character.  Good knee slides in Live and Let Die! 

Rose P, Daniel C and Frank gave us a new take on the Mexican Hat Dance, which they accomplished well, and Hats, Hats, Hats was very interesting, with Jacey and Amy showing us rich, strong vocals.  Lanyard Guy was also a good concept.

I felt the Bad Guy number was a little long, but well-performed.

Good finale to Act 1 – I should just give a nod to Freddie – his face was so expressive, my eye was drawn to him.

On to Act 2 – I have already commented on the opening costumes, the numbers were very suitable and everyone participated fully.

Heroes and Villains was very inventive, loved the slide, and all the various styles integrated into the movement – tumbling was strong too.

Vinyl Floorfillers was a riot of sounds and different dance moves, all completed with panache,

Sophie Mc, Stefano and Hollie H started the Finale well, then the tabs opened and we were treated to the wall of sound that was the entire cast, singing the songs we know and love.

Once again, a fascinating production, which we enjoyed on every level, and our thanks to you all for your hospitality, it was lovely to meet so many people involved in Scouts and Guides.

Nova Horley       NODA Representative - NODA East District 3

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