What is the Gang Show?
Our next Gang Show will take place in 2024. See you all there!!
Gang Show had its beginning in 1932 when a young Rover Scout, Ralph Reader, was making a name for himself in theatrical circles. In fact, Ralph was already a famous and sought-after choreographer on Broadway – but his life took a remarkable twist after he wrote and produced the first Gang Show to raise money for a local swimming pool. Recognising the worth of this form of training, Baden-Powell encouraged Reader to continue.
He did – and went on to establish the world-famous London Gang Show tradition, as well as writing the words and music to hundreds of songs and sketches, including the world-famous song “We’re Riding Along on the Crest of a Wave” (1934).
From that small beginning, the Gang Show has become one of the traditions of Scouting and has given Royal Command performances – the only amateur act to ever receive this honour.
Gang Show in the Tele
Greenock Boy Scouts Gang Show had its’ first outing, of a three-night run, on Thursday 26th March 1942 in Lady Alice School playing to an audience of about 400 in that first night. The Greenock Telegraph reported at the time ‘nothing but praise can be lavished on their efforts ………. there are songs and sketches galore, the boys are to the fore all the time ……… nothing has been neglected to make the show a success ……. lighting and stage effects are all in keeping with the atmosphere’
Our Gang Show is Thriving
Much has changed in our environment and to our expectations since 1942. In the Gang Show the team has expanded to incorporate all of Greenock & District from Wemyss Bay to Quarriers Village and the Scout movement now includes females as opposed to just the ‘boys who were at the fore’ in 1942. However, the same spirit and professionalism is evident in the Greenock & District Gang Shows 80 years later. The show is now held bi-annually, playing to an audience of around 500 at each of 6 shows. Each year, the whole run of shows is expected to sell out with the local audience, and visitors from the major cities in Scotland as well as a result of the Greenock team’s contribution in the National Scout Gang Show which regularly earns our show a lot of praise in the .wider Gang Show community.
Greenock & District Gang Show gives Beavers, Cub Scouts, Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Network members aged from 6 – 25, plus Adult Leaders, the opportunity to explore their creative side. To experience the thrill of performance, make new friends and to have a good laugh at themselves and with others and importantly it helps them develop confidence and teamwork skills that stay with them for life.