5. ‘The gang’s all here’

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - Show Time opens tonight, and runs in the Re­gent on Broad­way from Wed­nes­day 1 to Fri­day, July 3 at 7.30pm, Wed­nes­day, July 1. On Satur­day, July 4, there’s a 2pm mati­nee with a fi­nal per­for­mance at 8pm. Book­ings can be made at Tick­etDirect.co.nz or at the R

The Manawatu Gang Show opens this week at the Re­gent on Broad­way. The fam­ily-friendly bi­en­nial pro­duc­tion put on by lo­cal Scouts and Guides pro­vides an in­tro­duc­tion to pro­duc­tion and per­for­mance.

It’s Show­Time! Ev­ery two years Scouts and Girl Guides get to­gether for the Manawatu Gang Show. The stage re­vue is an ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated tra­di­tion – a fast-paced, en­ter­tain­ing fam­ily-friendly show.

Show Time di­rec­tor Carol Kelly says the fam­ily friendly as­pect ex­tends to the cast and crew with a num­ber of fam­i­lies in­volved in the pro­duc­tion.

‘‘It’s ex­cit­ing that we have fam­ily mem­bers within the cast; sis­ters and broth­ers, par­ents and chil­dren, but also within the pro­duc­tion teams we have dads and mums help­ing out with set con­struc­tion and cos­tume prepa­ra­tion. It’s a won­der­ful in­clu­sive at­mos­phere that in­fuses the Gang Show team.

‘‘For some, Gang Show is an in­tro­duc­tion to per­form­ing, and the en­thu­si­asm for the stage stays with them into their later lives.

‘‘The phi­los­o­phy of Manawatu Gang Show is that it’s as much about the jour­ney as the des­ti­na­tion, with many of the cast new to per­form­ing,’’ Carol says.

‘‘Dur­ing the four months of in­ten­sive re­hearsals, the cast are taught stage­craft and self­con­fi­dence. You can see the per­sonal growth in many of the kids.’’

New cast mem­bers are in­vested into the Gang dur­ing a spe­cial cer­e­mony, where they re­ceive the ‘‘scar­let scarf’’.

This year’s Show­Time cast of 62 are per­form­ing a wide range of di­verse acts – 16 items of singing, danc­ing, act­ing en­ter­tain­ment.

There’s a mov­ing trib­ute to World War I sol­diers, an up­beat Roar­ing 20’s dance num­ber and a Candy­land seg­ment par­tic­u­larly aimed at younger au­di­ence mem­bers. Part of the Gang Show tra­di­tion is that it in­cludes a more se­ri­ous mes­sage to­wards the end of the show. This year the mes­sage is in the form of an orig­i­nal song writ­ten es­pe­cially for the Manawatu Show Time cast called Speak Up. The song en­cour­ages young peo­ple to speak up if they need help.

‘‘The cast is truly an amaz­ing fam­ily, and this is ap­par­ent when they are on stage do­ing their best for each other.

‘‘We fly peo­ple across the stage and have the oc­ca­sional py­rotech­nic ex­plo­sion. Never a dull mo­ment!’’

Twenty-nine mem­bers of the cast are aged be­tween 5 and 10 years old, and per­form an item in the first part of the show that gives them a taste of what theatre is all about.



Happy Show Time cast mem­bers in their ‘‘HAPPY’’ t-shirts, all ready for the open­ing num­ber (from left) Jeanette Phillips, An­gela Duthie, Molly Walker, Mikayla Dooney, and Zane Illing­worth.

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