THIS year’s Inverness Area Gang Show promises some monster entertainment — and not just because it has a cast of almost 90.
No, this year Eden Court’s audience can expect a celebrity guest appearance from just down the A82 in Loch Ness."You couldn’t see Nessie in Loch Ness last year, but you will see her at Eden Court," Gang Show convenor Graham Eden promised.
Though even the north’s most legendary inhabitant might find herself upstaged by some of her co-stars.
After all, there is an old showbiz saying about never working with animals or children and with a cast drawn from Cubs, Guides and Scouts in not only Inverness, but Nairnshire, Speyside and Ross-shire, there are plenty of potentially scene-stealing youngsters.
Though there are some older ones too — the age range of the 89 strong cast runs from an eight-year old Kingsmills Cub to 74-year old Andy Thursby.
He and fellow Scout leader Russell Lees are the only two cast members to have appeared in every Eden Court Gang Show since the biennial revue started back in 1983 and next Saturday’s matinee show marks a significant milestone, the Gang Show’s 75th Eden Court performance.
"We’re treating it as an excuse to have cake — but only between shows," Eden added.
"It’s a real achievement for what was supposed to be a one-off event."
This year the Gang Show team, led by director Cynthia Nicol, are pushing the boundaries so their young — and older cast — to go bigger and better than ever before, kicking off with the Gang Show’s most ambitious opening number yet, a 1920s full costume song and dance medley.
What follows include a tribute to Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver!, musical journeys around the world and the British Isles, a big band opening for the second half, and Old Time Music Hall.
There is comedy too, including he return of a favourite sketch from past shows.
"Often the public perception of a Gang Show is of Scouts sitting round a campfire singing Ging Gang Goolie and it’s so not that, he said.
"Outside the panto, which is its own thing, the Gang Show is one of the last real family shows you get at Eden Court. It’s not like going to see a musical. You don’t have to like one particular thing. There’s something for everybody."
• The 2014 Inverness Area Gang Show is at the Empire Theatre, Eden Court, from Wednesday 9th to Saturday 12th April at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.