Gallery/preview: Ipswich Gang Show 2014, the Great School Theatre, Ivry Street, Ipswich

Ipswich Gang Show 2014 Alice In Space. Photo: Zoe Burgess

Ipswich Gang Show 2014 Alice In Space. Photo: Zoe Burgess - Credit: Archant

Song, dance, laughs - some intentional, some not - as technical rehearsals go, all involved should be pleased with themselves.

Ipswich Gang Show 2014 Men in Tights, photo by Zoe Burgess

Ipswich Gang Show 2014 Men in Tights, photo by Zoe Burgess - Credit: Archant

The 74-strong cast and scores of backstage crew have spent months preparing for the family variety show.

Featuring Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Explorers, Rainbows, Rangers and leaders from in and around Ipswich, there were the usual collection of traditional and modern songs, dance routines and sketches spread over 20-plus segments ranging from the traditional Ralph Reader opening to a spirited version of Will.i.am’s Bang Bang from The Great Gatsby which left me feeling exhausted and I was only watching.

There were a lot of new faces onstage this year, all of who seemed to fit in seamlessly with the more experienced cast.

The stand-out numbers for me were the Mini Gang’s Alice in Space, featuring two special guests sci-fi fans will recognise; The Escapee, which turned into an amusing running - or should that be hopping - gag and Top Hat and Tails took an unexpected twist.

Being a child of the 1980s I also enjoyed the segment of the same name, the Up West numbers and Art’s light-hearted knocking of critics. The Tummy Ache sketch was particularly funny.

Ending on a really upbeat note, there was still some work to do before opening night; the transition between scenes needed tightening and it was a little hard to hear at times due to what appeared to be misbehaving mics. That’s what techinical rehearsals are for though and with the cast and crew still poring over notes when I left I’m sure everybody will be riding on the crest of a wave come opening night.

The Ipswich Gang Show 2014 runs at the Great School Theatre, Ivry Street, Ipswich, 7.15pm nightly from April 16-19 with a 2.15pm matinee the last day. For more details, visit www.ipswichgangshow.org.uk

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