Gang Show

Date 15th February 2023
Society Basingstoke Gangshow
Venue Haymarket Theatre
Type of Production Concert
Producer Kirsty Thomas

Report

Author: Chris Horton

Basingstoke Gang Show 2023 began with an opening number sung by the entire cast and was a burst of colour with rainbow back projection and rainbow t-shirts worn by all, and moving spotlights.  This was cleverly choreographed and the large cast were co-ordinated.    This bright and breezy start laid the foundation for the joy filled, funny, tuneful and inventive evening that was to follow.  

The sets were created by projections and were high quality and impressive.    They ranged from a gorgeously colourful toy shop to a city skyline for a sophisticated restaurant scene.   The props were amazing including lobster pots, the lemonade stand and hobby horses for the racing scene.    The aeroplane for the Amelia Earhart story was astonishing and incredibly effective. One of my favourite moments was when seagulls flew over the audience (cast members with fishing rods and a seagull attached to it) during the Sea Shanties.

There was a multitude of scene changes requiring costumes for all.    The volunteers had been kept incredibly busy helping inbetween changes.  The outfits ranged from simple t-shirt and trousers to elaborate evening gowns, period costumes, racing silks and a whole host of costumes for the toy shop scene including Lego figures, a spaceman, a teddy, Ken and Barbie dolls, soldiers, animals, crayons, ballet dancers a Rubics cube, a train and a car!  

The lighting was brilliant and ranged from very simple when the entire cast were well lit to more complicated and colourful rainbow spots, moving laser type lighting – a general explosion of colourful effects.     

This was a simply superb show with some ingenious ideas that were well executed. These included a ‘Forties to Noughties’ theme when music from the decades was played and this was accompanied by a projection of the musical equipment used at the time ranging from gramophone, record player, Walkman with cassettes, CD, Ipod, to phone and a scene with period dressed debutantes and their beaux speaking in modern parlance, “can’t wait to get home for Netflix and chill”.    I enjoyed the running joke regarding the duck who asked the lemonade seller for grapes.    The ‘Day at the Races’ sketch needed precise timing and was a challenge that those involved rose to – a nail biting moment for the Director, I’m sure! The costumes, sets and lighting were consistently impressive.     It was a joy to see all the smiley faces full of enthusiasm.   This tremendous team effort provided us with a spectacular evening and an uplifting way to spend a cold, dark and miserable February evening.