IN jubilee year Todmorden Gang Show tips its hat towards the Royal Crest as well as the Crest Of A Wave in a packed show.
With the Olympic Games also on the horizon, this year’s show, which runs at Todmorden’s Hippodrome Theatre until Saturday, has a very topical feel to it.
The Olympics material is very well put together by the production team, the sketches immediately before and after linking in with the musical theme of the main event, which makes good use of Holding Out For A Hero at the heart of the number.
Diamond Jubilee opens the second act and done well with simple but effective red, white and blue lighting and costumes on There’ll Always Be An England and Red, White and Blue.
A show “first” serves to introduce the segment promoting this year’s chosen charity, Macmillan cancer care.
To do this they recorded Avril Lavigne’s Keep Holding On out on location, editing the results together into a short film.
It’s beautifully poignant, the only part of the show where the pace slows down and allows the audience a little time for contemplation.
This year’s Gang were in fine voice when we saw the show’s dress rehearsal, making the most of musical material that’s perfect for a fast-moving show like this.
An early highlight was Firework in the opening meet-the-gang segment, dazzling costumes and some fizzing choreography bringing the show bursting into life.
Gang Show Juniors thoroughly enjoyed their musical trip through the Wild West, with They’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain beautifully thought out and they didn’t put a foot wrong.
The production team have become adept at cherry-picking the best pop music for some show-stopping numbers and the first half closed with an energetic work out through several Steps hits in the year that group have reformed, with a version of the Bee Gees’ Tragedy - also a big hit for “H” and company - quickly followed by a line-dancing workout to 5-6-7-8.
Act two’s Fame was the show’s highlight for me and the Gang clearly enjoyed delivering the ballad Starmaker and sang and danced the title with gusto.
Music and mirth go together in Gang Show and particularly Marathon Man and the breathless Twelve Days of Camping are sure to have you chuckling, as well as bringing back memories for anyone who has ever been on scout or guide camp in the case of the latter!
A megamix finale reprises some of the production’s top musical numbers and adds in, of course, Ralph Reader’s Crest Of A Wave.
The cast’s assured, bouncy delivery carries the audience with them. as the show’s excellent pit band keeps hitting the beat.
Many of the Gang are young but they showed no sign of any nerves and, to the contrary, had a whale of a time.
They sure look to have had fun putting Gang Show 2012 together - and you will have fun watching it too.
Tikcets can be booked at Todmorden Information Centre or by calling 01706 810821 or , if any remain, on the door on the night.
The Gang are also holding a coffee morning for Macmillan in the Hippodrone, Halifax Road, foyer from 10am to noon.