West Wirral Gang Show - Our History

Our gang show formed in 1990 and here we take a look back through some of the key moments and shows we have staged.

2016 :: Best of British

2016 performed to rave reviews with one leader proclaiming "Not just a great Gang Show but an Exceptional Gang Show". 
Our 2016 show, Best of British, took a tongue in cheek look at what makes us British. From the Great British seaside to King Arthur all rounded off with a night at the Proms.
With the departure of our Musical Director, Peter Carter, we welcomed Paul Tolley into the role and we feel he brought a new feel to the music and set our cast some particularly challenging songs to sing. We also welcomed Emily Ratcliffe as our youth representative and Cally Hughes as assistant director bringing her wealth of performance experience into the team.

Stand out moment:
Watching the Fleur De Lis rise above the silhouettes of the cast during the industrial revolution scene.

Honourable mention:
All the audience members who valiantly joined in with our "Scout leader with tape on his face" sketch.

2014 :: Evolution

Our most ambitious show to date saw us take 75 young people and adults right back to the dawn of time and then forward on a journey through evolution itself. Featuring Cavemen, Egyptians, Vikings, Victorian Scouse sailors and the odd banana skin and comedy cream pie too. We performed again to sell out audiences at the Gladstone theatre, once again hailing the talent on stage.

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.

2010 :: Heroes and Villains!

With the departure of Dave Hornby (Director) and Tim Smith (MD), 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 new 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.

2000 - 2008 :: A new Breed of Talent

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. Musical direction was provided by Tim Smith, another of our "ever present team"

Our 2002 Cast were very talented as ever and yet more amazing soloists emerged from amongst them. 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.)

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.

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.

In 2006 Ian Greenway our previous Assistant Director 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 2004 show, our spaced themed Gang Show saw high lights including Ivy our video screen ships computer and special guest stars 'Coldplay'

With the demolition and impending redevelopment of our previous home, The Floral Pavillion, it was time for us to find a new home for our Gang Show which saw the 2008 show move to new surroundings at the Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight. All of the staff made us feel very welcome and helped us to stage another great show, but our last under the leadership of Dave Hornby, in his role as Director, and Tim Smith as Musical Director, with the 2008 show being their last. Under Daves Direction we performed 12 Gang Shows over the previous 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 is still missed today. Tim stayed on as part of the team but decided to take a step back from MD to allow a new team to come through.

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.

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.

Key Facts

Current Cast: TBC
Current Venue: Gladstone Theatre
Directors: Pete Ledson
Musical Director: Paul Tolley

History:
Total Shows: 16
Total Performances: 62
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, New Brighton
1994 - Floral Pavillion, New Brighton
1996 - Floral Pavillion, New Brighton
1998 - Floral Pavillion, New Brighton
2000 - Floral Pavillion, New Brighton
2002 - Floral Pavillion, New Brighton
2004 - Floral Pavillion, New Brighton
2006 - Floral Pavillion, New Brighton
2008 - Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight
2010 - "Heroes & Villains" - The Mosslands School
2012 - "A Night at The Movies" - Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight.
2014 - "Evolution" - Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight.
2016 - "Best of British" - Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight.
2018 - "Ticket to the West End" - Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight.