West Wirral Gang Show - Our History
1990 - 1992 :: The Curtain Raises
Our Show originated in 1990 with a joint venture between Hilbre and 1st Great Meols Scout Groups produced at the Hilbre High School in West Kirby. The 1992 Show saw the Cast expand to include members from several other Scout Groups and the Hoylake Guide District.
1993 - 2000 :: The Show Expands to a new Stage
1993 saw the Show move to the Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton, and having strayed over the border into Wallasey Scout District, we were pleased to see some of their members join us too.
Unfortunately, we lost a couple of key members of the Production Team after the 1996 Show but excellent replacements were soon found and we came back in 1998 with a Show which built on the high standards set in 1996. This continued with our Millennium Show in 2000 when we were fortunate to have a particularly talented Cast. A spectacular spin-off was the formation of our Theatre Group who staged 'Return to the Forbidden Planet' at Hilbre High School in April 2001.
2000 - 2004 :: A new Breed of Talent
Although we had thought the 2000 Show would be a 'difficult act to follow', the 2002 Show exceeded our wildest dreams. The 2002 Cast were also extremely talented and yet more amazing soloists emerged from amongst them;in fact, of the 15 numbers featuring 'soloists', only 2 numbers were handled by two of the Leaders (one each), the remaining 13 numbers featuring 11 girls and 8 boys contributing either as soloists, duos, trios or quartets. The contribution from the 'Chorus' was also impressive once again.(During the planning phase, we thought we would be using a different venue, more of a Concert Venue than a true Theatre, hence there was more emphasis on music than usual with 28 'live' numbers placing heavy demands on the Chorus. Our fantastic Band also featured an encouraging injection of youth amongst the Musicians too.)All this was achieved thanks to the hard work of our new Musical Director, Heather Barr, although she would be the first to also acknowledge the contribution played by the Assistant Musical Director, Tim Smith (our previous Musical Director).The Dance Group further enhanced the Show tackling some challenging choreography with enthusiasm and polish, thanks to our two new Choreographers, Joanne McNabb and Gill Finney.
From 1990 through to 2008, our shows where directed by the inspirational Dave Hornby who, until his recent retirement, was also GSL at the St Andrews (Meols) Scout Group. Tim Smith and Doreen Stanley (our Costume Co-ordinator up to and including the 2002 Show) are also 'ever presents'. In 2004 a new Assistant Director, Ian Greenway, was 'ever-present' too in that he joined the Show as soon as he was old enough (i.e. aged 8 as a Cub Scout in our first show.) Ian's 'promotion' followed his considerable success in directing the Theatre Group's production of 'Return to the Forbidden Planet'. The new post of 'Producer' for our 2002 Show was filled by Andy Creer who was also 'discovered' (with other new talent) helping Ian at the Theatre Group.
2006 & 2008 :: Rockin' In Space & Arround the World
In 2006 Ian had moved onto pastures new and once again Dave Horby Directed a fantastic show at the Floral Pavilion Theatre, following on from our Cruise Themed 2002 show, our spaced themed Gang Show saw high lights including Ivy our video screen ships computer and special guest stars 'Coldplay' You can see some videos from our 2006 show by clicking here.
With the demolition and impending redevelopment of The Floral Pavillion it was time for us to find a new home for our Gang Show which saw the 2008 show move to its new surroundings of the Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight. All of the staff made us feel very welcome and helped us to stage what we firmly believe was our best show yet!
In 2008 we bid a fond farewell to Dave Hornby in his role as Director and Tim Smith as Musical Director, with the 2008 show being their last. Under Daves Direction we have performed 12 Gang Shows totaling nearly 50 individual performances over the past 18 years and we're sure every one who has ever been a part of West Wirral Gang Show would like to say a huge Thank You to Dave for all of his hard work and dedication, it will be surely missed. Tim will still be part of our band in the future but has stepped aside as Musical Director to allow a new team to come through.
2010 :: Heroes and Villains!
With the departure of Dave and Tim, the opportunity was taken to create a new production team for the West Wirral Gang Show. Pete Ledson, previously our Stage Manager stepped into Dave's very big shoes as Director, assisted by Fiona Ledson and Liam O'Malley as Assistant Directors for Movement and Acting respectively. Peter Carter, previously Saxophonist and Flautist for our band, took over from Tim as Musical Director. We welcomed back Andy Creer as Producer, and Michelle Harris as Choreographer as well as Steve Ledson who acted as Technical advisor to the show. Kirsty Brown took the helm on stage as Stage Manager after designing and building our fantastic set!.
The 2010 Show "Heroes and Villains" saw a return to sketches and comedy with a script written by the Directors, Pete, Peter and Liam. Our show took the challenges of moving to a new location in its stride and produced a fantastic show enjoyed by all.
2012 :: The Silver Screen
Our 2010 Production team returned for our 2nd show - "A Night at the Movies" The show took us from Romance to horror, Sci-fi to War and even included a brief spell in prison with your favourite Disney Characters!
Hailed by many as a stand out Gang Show and even "The Best Gang Show I've ever seen", we performed to sell out audiences at the Gladstone Theatre in Port Sunlight. Our cast of 100 young people and adults showed just how much talent we have in West Wirral and we can't wait to bring them all back together again for our 2014 show!
Current Cast: TBC
Current Venue: The Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight
Directors: Pete Ledson & Liam O'Malley
Musical Director: Peter Carter
Total Shows: 13
Total Performances: 50
First Show: 1990
Founding Groups: Hilbre & 1st Great Meols
Past WW Gang Shows:
1990 - Hilbre High School
1991 - Hilbre High School
1992 - Hilbre High School
1993 - Floral Pavillion Theatre, New Brighton
1994 - Floral Pavillion Theatre, New Brighton
1996 - Floral Pavillion Theatre, New Brighton
1998 - Floral Pavillion Theatre, New Brighton
2000 - Floral Pavillion Theatre, New Brighton
2002 - Floral Pavillion Theatre, New Brighton
2004 - Floral Pavillion Theatre, New Brighton
2006 - Floral Pavillion Theatre, New Brighton
2008 - Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight
2010 - The Mosslands School
2012 - Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight