Ralph Reader is credited with starting the “Gang Show” concept back in 1932, the show consisted of sketches, songs and dance numbers. Eighty-five years later the concept is still the same, quite possibly the only surviving form of “variety show” being performed and amazingly the concept still works and entertains.
Many of us growing up in the 50s and 60s will be familiar with the big Gang Show being performed in London, but since that time local scout and guide organisations have staged their own versions. The Ipswich Gang Show celebrates it’s 80th anniversary in 2018 and if my visit to last night’s dress rehearsal is anything to go by it will continue to it’s centenary and beyond.
The Ipswich area is blessed with some excellent am-dram and musical drama companies, The Gang Show is not aiming at competing with these, instead it’s a celebration of the ability of scouts and guides to work together to achieve something. It’s about teamwork, and what a team.
Musical numbers range from Queen and Abba, a tribute to Stevie Wonder through to more modern numbers such as George Ezra’s Budapest and some fantastic renditions of stage musical numbers too, the Les Mis piece just before the end of the first half is brilliantly performed and cleverly arranged.
In between the musical numbers are the usual sketches, some working better than others, personally I loved the Phobias one!
The Gang Show is at the Great School Theatre, Ivry Street, Ipswich.
Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th April.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.ipswichgangshow.org.uk or in person Craftability-Ipswich
4 St Lawrence St, Ipswich IP1 1DN
Review Mark Keable, Ipswich24