I should be more of an expert on this than I am given that my Dad and my Uncle Chris were in the first ever Edinburgh Gang Show in 1960 and that it has spawned many a youth theatre and dance school in the city including FCT, Manor School of Ballet and LY. Probably the late Edinburgh Youth Theatre too.
My dad, back in the day.
And one of my old pals, Andy Johnston has been directing it for nine years. But year after year it has clashed with my holidays and I’ve missed it; until today.
Let’s start where it finished.
I left the King’s Theatre unable to speak so profoundly moving was the overall experience and the tradition of the finale.
Stunning, simple, life affirming.
On the Crest of a Wave was rendered so perfectly that it was as if my dad was there on the stage.
Very, very moving indeed.
But that’s a personal point of view. What if one just turned up for an evening’s entertainment? Well, I’ll tell you what, nobody would leave The Kings feeling short changed.
This is variety theatre at its best.
Take That, Queen, Paulo Nuttini, KT Tunstall; all were expertly given the treatment.
The segue from Les Miserables was jaw dropping in its ambition and delivery.
But one of the showstoppers was a ten year old boy closing act one with a solo performance of Biffy Clyro’s Many of Horror that took your breath away.
But that’s not all.
For the first time in Gang Show history the show opened with all 200 (yes you read that correctly) cast members on stage and singing in unison.
Andy Johnstone’s sketches were universally good, often laugh out loud hilarious. My favourite line being from an old Scots sketch in which a wee laddie playing Bonnie Prince Charlie asks another character “who are you?” to be answered resolutely. “I’m fine thanks.”
This was a joyous, life affirmimng three hours of entertainment that will sustain me all through the winter.