EXCITEMENT is reaching a fever pitch as a group of almost 100 Scouts prepare to take to the stage for an annual show.
Rehearsals have been in full swing ahead of the 41st Gosport Gang Show – a variety performance that puts young people’s talents in the spotlight.
Featuring Scouts from across Gosport, the performance gives them the chance to show a different side of themselves – as well as make new friends and boost their confidence along the way.
The group has been rehearsing since late last year, with performances starting on Wednesday, April 10.
Some of the Scouts are seasoned veterans of the Gosport Gang Show; for others, like 10-year-old Olly Willber, this will be their first year on stage.
Olly said: ‘I was really shy at the start but then I got better.
‘You make new friends as you make your way through rehearsals.’
Olly’s friend Thomas Wood, also 10, added: ‘I’ve been watching the Gang Show since I was very young, so now to be taking part is really exciting.’
With hundreds of costumes backstage, performers will be quickly swapping outfits throughout the show.
‘There’s quite a few costume changes,’ said April Williams, age 11. ‘Sometimes it’s a bit of a rush between musical numbers but everyone has done really well.’
Zoe Myall, 13, is one of the more experienced performers, with this being her seventh year on stage.
During downtime in rehearsals she spent time with Jenson Smith, also 13, as well as 11-year-old friends Noah Madgwick and Erin Noy.
She said: ‘We spend so much time together rehearsing that we end up with some really close friendships.
‘To perform on stage with your friends in front of thousands of people is a truly magical feeling.
‘It’s a great confidence builder and you learn a lot of other skills along the way, such as teamwork, dance choreography and so on.’
Jenson added: ‘The Gang Show is just so much fun to do – you get to meet new people and make new friends.
‘My mum was surprised when I first started doing this because I don’t think she was expecting me to do something like it, but I’ve found something I’m really passionate about and love doing.’
Masterminding the whole operation are Bill Reed and Trevor Smith.
Bill said: ‘Rehearsals have gone very well indeed – it’s nice to see everything come together.
‘This whole thing is about boosting their confidence; doing the Gosport Gang Show helps people to really come out of their shell, and they practically become a brand new person on stage.’
The show will run at Ferneham Hall in Fareham from April 10 to 13.
For tickets call the box office on 0345 224 5108.