MORE than 50 years after it started, Todmorden Gang Show continues to entertain.
The revue, packed with music and comedy sketches, takes to the stage for the 53rd time next week, at the Hippodrome Theatre, Halifax Road, Todmorden, from May 11 to 14 (7.30pm).
It stars members of the scout and guide movements from the Calder Valley, with an 80-strong cast ranging in age from six to fifty-something, plus a back up team taking care of everything from set to costume design.
The show takes in cast members from throughout the valley, and in recent years words like colourful and spectacular spring to mind as they mix material from the latest pop acts to Ralph Reader-penned favourites.
The 2011 show, produced by Rowena Goldthorpe, continues the trend, opening in traditional Reader style with a feelgood number to set the tone for the performance, says show chairman Jon Sayer.
“This year the Gang have selected musical numbers ranging from the Black Eyes Peas to the Sound of Music, and from Queen to Grease. It will be a fun-filled night and there will also be some unusual loud bangs and things, and even a special appearance by Noah and his ark!” he said.
Sketch material is also carefully chosen, including the Harry Enfield/Ronnie Corbett piece “My Blackberry Isn’t Working”, for example.
With the Queen segment a tribute to the late Freddie Mercury, who died 20 years ago, set to please rock fans, a musical number about toys coming to life as the clock strikes midnight is set to enchant everyone, says Jon.
The ability to adapt and change as the years have gone by, coupled with generations of young talent, many of whom have gone on to become involved in local theatre groups, explains why it is going strong into its second half century. Many a love affair with the stage started here.
Tickets are £8 (adults) and £6 (children and senior citizens), although reduced rates are not available on the Saturday night. They can be obtained in person from Todmorden Tourist Information Centre, by ringing the TIC on 01706 818181, or by calling the show’s own ticket hotline on 01706 816568.
Any unsold seats will be avalable on the door but to ensure you get a seat, book early.