Wednesday November 15th 2023
The mere logistics of enabling 250 young South East Scotland Scouts and Girl Guides – aged four to 20-plus – to successfully represent their talents on the stage at Edinburgh’s gloriously beautiful Festival Theatre must be a Herculean challenge.
That it has been carried off with such aplomb is a tribute to the typically impressive organisational skills of the two movements’ volunteers.
The rest is down to the young people on stage – and boy do they deliver brilliantly.
A large slice of the audience at Tuesday’s opening night were probably made-up of fellow Scouts, Girl Guides and proud relatives of the youngsters on stage.
But this is a show that delivers for all, due in no small part to the evident joy and enthusiasm of the performers working as an ensemble and to the genuine show-stopping performances by individuals.
The evening got off to a storming start with Emma Snowdon leading her boundlessly energetic dancing cohorts through a show-stopping Right Where We Belong (from the movie Muppets Take Broadway); Lara Brechin followed, delivering Ed Sheeran’s Celestial with just the right side of tenderness, while Matthew Knowles’s tour-de-force take on Sam Ryder’s Fought and Lost delivered a lump-in-the-throat moment.
The production flowed seamlessly and a call out too to the choreography team and to Tara Boynton for her a pitch-perfect delivery of the Kate Bush classic Running Up That Hill, another highlight on a night of highlights.
In truth all the soloists soared and the comedic sketches between songs often featured politically topical gags – bringing in up-to-the-moment references to Suella Braverman’s sacking, David Cameron’s return from the political wilderness and aiming a few cheeky digs at ex-First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s financial woes.
Entertainment for all the family, Edinburgh Gang Show continues at the Festival Theatre until Saturday, November 18.
Be Prepared for a heart-warming evening.
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