The Gloucester Gang Show is an annual Scouting Variety Show presented by Scouts and Guides of the Gloucester District. We have been going strong for over half a century now, and we continue to bring fantastic performances to you, year on year ensuring that we will be around to see 100 years in Gloucester!
The show aims to give young people an experience of all aspects of performance, from song and dance to comedy and tragedy. This process has proven to be exceptional at helping young people to develop their confidence, self-belief, inter-personal relationships, social skills, commitment and sense of community, not to mention their performance skills. We believe that programmes like this are of great benefit to young people, and of course also to the many adults we still have riding the Crest of a Wave.
The inspiration for Gang Shows comes from a man called Ralph Reader. He wrote, produced and directed the first Gang Show in London in 1932. At that time Ralph Reader was one of the most sought after of all professional choreographers, yet he undertook to mix his professional and amateur activities. The decision, to put on a production to raise funds, was a move which would affect his career and change his life forever.
The RAF Gang Shows, as they came to be known, grew to 25 different units consisting of RAF recruits considered unsuitable for combat duties. Many of these unknowns - Peter Sellers, Dick Emery, Tony Hancock, Norie Paramor - went on to become well-known entertainers.
The RAF Gang Shows played all over the world - wherever the troops went, the Gang Show's followed.
The 1950's saw the resurrection of the Scout Gang Shows. The concept spread throughout the world - Ireland, Hong Kong, Chicago and Australia to name a few. They were based on the London Gang Show in both concept and material.
The Gang Shows were like any other theatrical presentation for that time except the stars were unpaid and the girls were boys! Up until the 1960's Gang Show was a male domain.
The 18th of May 1982 was a day that marked the passing of a great man - one whose contribution to Scouting throughout the world is exceeded only that by Baden-Powell.
Ralph Reader is a theatre legend. In his lifetime he produced 19 shows on Broadway, 34 in London's West End and 50 shows in the Royal Albert Hall. He also wrote 15 books of plays, played in 5 films and composed over 400 songs.
Gloucester Gang Show while still including original material from the late Ralph Reader, also is giving the ‘Gang Show’ name a fresh and modern approach and moving the show into the 21st Century as to ensure that Gang Show will live on through many more generations and decades.
If you have never seen a Gang Show, come on down to our next performance, where we can guarantee you will have a superb night!