The Basingstoke Gang Show

The Haymarket Theatre until Saturday, February 20

THE 25th cast of The Basingstoke Gang Show have been entertaining audiences at The Haymarket Theatre since last Thursday with a high-energy performance full of variety.

The show features songs, dancing and comedy sketches performed by 64 cubs, scouts, guides and leaders, with music from all genres, from current artists such as Jess Glynne to pop legends Queen.

This year’s theme is games, with one sketch based on the tv game show Mastermind.

Acts range from whacky to completely bizarre, and some had the children in the audience in hysterics as they giggled their way through the first half.

The audience was mesmerised as a dancing pair performed a contemporary routine to Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, sung beautifully by one of the female cast members.

But the highlight of the first half, if not the entire show, was a teenage boy wearing a multi-coloured outfit, lip-sinking and acting to a medley of love-songs. It was comedy genius and the whole auditorium was in stitches, laughing out loud throughout.

Songs from the musical Mary Poppins were a delight to watch and listen to, particularly those performed by the characters Jane and Michael Banks who delivered a charming and perfected performance.

The second half featured a talented group of acapella performers, who sang a medley of hits from the decades.

There was enormous variety on show and the cast displayed a wide range of talents, including roller-skating, tap-dancing and even trampoline jumping, all incorporated into the show.

The finale took on a personal note, with words from the cast members projected onto the stage, such as “I have made friends for life” and “This has given me the opportunity to do what I love” as the performers sang Jesse J’s Flashlight wearing their full uniforms.

There were cheers and a huge round-of-applause as relatives and friends of cast members in the audience showed enormous pride in the young actors, who have obviously worked very hard to prepare for the anniversary show.

This year's show is raising money for Sightsavers and Naomi House and Jacksplace hospices.

The audience are invited to make a donation at the end of the performance, with funds being split between the international charity Sightsavers, which works to prevent and cure avoidable blindness, and the Sutton Scotney charity Naomi House Hospice, which provides expert care to life-limited and life-threatened children.

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