Reveiwed by Dave Smith
The huge cast of this year’s Gang Show had all the exuberance and joy you could want. That was deftly marshalled by director Darran Swain, Musical Director Damon Green and the team of choreographers headed by Megan Dickens and Daniel Simons.
It’s a tried and tested routine of solos, choruses and comedy sketches in the variety show or revue format, with occasional elements evoking traditional music hall. Further, it’s a showpiece for the Scouts and Guides of the State, and a training ground for many young performers. Above all, the mood is markedly wholesome.
The show placed most of the action in Adelaide, and linked songs and skits to that theme. We saw action in the City to Bay, the East End, the Christmas Pageant and the zoo. The many set changes were efficient and helped maintain the pace. The costumes were bright and varied, and represented an enormous logistical achievement. It took sixteen people to get that all together, and no wonder.
Some of the big choruses were particularly striking, most notably those in the East End bracket where the dancing vegetables were extraordinary, and the ‘Who will Buy?’ quartet was splendid. The best sketch was set in the library. It had clever use of mime, complex rhythmic beats and a telling punchline. The actors’ timing stood out in that scene, whereas some of the other sketches suffered a little from slow take-up of cues.
The performance got crisper as it built to the extended, joyful finale. It was a fine conclusion to the 54th Adelaide Gang Show.