Plenty of good family fun in Otago Gang Show

Otago Gang Show 2019 opened in Mayfair Theatre on Tuesday - a festival of youthful talent, produced by Sue and Noel Walker with Dylan Shield directing the 11-member orchestra.

A very full house chuckled at the humour of traditional Gang Show-type skits and jokes, themed into a three-hour (perhaps rather too long) show of ingeniously mismatched fairy stories.

Part of a giant story book was stolen, and Puss in Boots failed to sort the tales.

Jack swapped his beautiful black and white cow in a market scene, planted the giant bean which grew alarmingly fast (to the amazement of my 4-year-old grandson), and the fiery and confronting giant at the top of the stalk was the smallest
member of the cast.

Peter Pan and Captain Hook featured often, giving rise to clever scenes and situations. Of course, one buys a hand in a second-hand shop, and ACC would not cover losing a hand to a crocodile!

Cinderella, Rapunzel and many more familiar characters emerged, and topical humour mentioned Jetstar, Winston Peters, Dunedin Hospital, Animal Rescue and more.

Punch-line diction was always clearly defined.

When Red-Riding visited Snow-White (because the grandmother was on holiday in Fiji), and the big bad wolf was eventually slain and opened up, not only Snow White emerged unscathed, but a succession of characters from previous scenes including seven dwarves.

Wardrobe headed by Dawn New created dozens of colourful costumes to match scenes, with many backdrops and props.

Choreography was impressive, disciplined and never too repetitive, especially in big ensemble numbers such as Green Eggs and Ham. Havana Cafe scene with tango, waltz and tarantella steps was a highlight.

The final song, We're Riding Along on the Crest of the Wave , with the cast of 76 singing from the heart and confidently disciplined in ever-changing hand movements, was a display of youthful joy and comeradie.

The show runs until Saturday and is good family entertainment.

-By Elizabeth Bouman

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