Saturday, May 02, 2009


Chelmsford Gang Show at the Civic


Based on an original idea by Ralph Reader CBE. Well, it's more than a quarter of a century since the great man died, so what would he recognize of that original idea ?

Cross dressing – part of a Beach number which also featured a nice Surfin' USA. His sketch, Cup of Coffee, largely intact save for the Bob a Job reference, and of course his songs: You're Only Young Once, the catchy There Are No Strangers Here, and It's Great to Be Young, which ended a typically perky Mini Gang sketch, The Golden Woggle, where science collided with bizarre body painting.

Ralph's greatest hit, Crest of a Wave, segued into the title song [from Hairspray] which might have amused him, I guess, though he would be amazed to see West End musicals bracketing the interval – the memorable Mamma Mia [costing most of the costume budget] and the forgettable Wicked, which did however boast some of the best singing and dancing of the evening.

Terry Simister headed a large production team, with Gwilym Morris and Stephan Nicholls in charge of the music. But there were noticeably fewer in the Gang this year, with the boys heavily outnumbered, [what would RR have made of all those girls ...] and Terry is rightly concerned for the future. As Reader wrote:”All hands aboard, boys, The ship is calling for more ...”

photo from the 2008 Show - send me one from this year, guys, and I'll change it ...

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