Albury Gang Show presents 2017 production

FOR half a century, a certain crowd has been getting together on the Border.

COLOURFUL CHARACTERS: Albury Gang Show cast members, Hannah Marheine, Georgia Nieuwerth, Brielle Pedler, 11, Zakea Pongritz, Cayt Roach and Ben Pedler, 14, prepare ahead of their annual production this weekend. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

COLOURFUL CHARACTERS: Albury Gang Show cast members, Hannah Marheine, Georgia Nieuwerth, Brielle Pedler, 11, Zakea Pongritz, Cayt Roach and Ben Pedler, 14, prepare ahead of their annual production this weekend. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

Albury Gang Show returns for its 52nd year this weekend with a variety show at Albury Entertainment Centre titled The Internet Is Down.

“For some people, it definitely would be horror,” director Steve Reynolds said with a smile.

He, fellow director Andrew Ferguson and 55 cast members aged from 10 years to adults in their 50s have been rehearsing for the annual performance since February.

A well-known scouting tradition, gang shows began in London in the 1930s, the name arising from the original production’s title The Gang’s All Here.

The genre has grown and since developed into something of a fraternity.

“Canberra Gang Show, I think they’re bringing their whole cast down to watch us and we’re hoping to return the favour,” Mr Reynolds said. “The leaders really see what the kids get out of it in terms of their confidence.

“To come and watch it in the audience, they get a lot of fun out of it because, even though it’s not intended, it ends up being a very interactive show and we like to bounce off our audience as well.”

All the Albury performers are connected to the region’s cubs, scouts or guides, but no other qualification bar enthusiasm is needed.

“It just provides an avenue for theatrical experience that people might not get otherwise if they’ve got an interest in it,” Mr Reynolds said.

“We’re a bit of a ‘take all sorts’; if people want some experience in this sort of thing we’re more than happy to have them along.”

Cast members helped develop ideas for The Internet Is Down, which opens with the title theme and its hero Captain Bandwidth.

The various sets combine musical elements and sketch comedy, with one item described as “a bit of a Disney princess mash-up”.

Both directors began as cast members when teenagers and those in the support team also have past or present scouting links.

Hannah Marheine has performed in Albury Gang Show for a decade, starting as a North Albury guide.

“Mum brought me to the show because her brother used to do it,” she said.

“I came here, watched one show and haven’t really looked back.”

Miss Marheine, now part of the production crew, enjoys the gang show’s singing and dancing as well as the new friendships made.

“It’s basically just like a second family,” she said. 

Albury Gang Show’s three performances take place on Friday at 7.30pm and Saturday at 1.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets available at the door.

More information on the Albury Gang Show Facebook page.

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