At the District AGM in May 2014 our Director, Phil, was asked to give a presentation on Gang Show. This is what he said:
In 2015 Letchworth and Baldock District Gang Show celebrates it’s 50th show
So, What is Gang Show?
A question I am often asked but usually by members of the general public and the simple
answer is a variety show performed by members of the scouting and guiding community.
That’s the simple answer – but you as members of this community already knew this.
You need a deeper answer and to get that deeper answer you actually need a different
What does Gang Show have to offer?
The three performances in March are the end product of 12 months planning, 6 months
cast rehearsing, 5 months of music editing, 4 months of costume making, 3 months
scenery and props making, 2 weeks of dress rehearsals, 1 week theatre preparation..........
and not a partridge or a pear tree in sight.
The cast rehearsals consist of a maximum of two hours every Saturday from October to
March, except for special occasions such as the all dayer and run throughs, in which the
cast are taught all about the presentation of a variety show. They learn songs – some of
which they need no introduction to and some they have never heard of before – how to
add movement to performances, the art of delivering speech either as a serious item or a
sketch and how to interact with each other. Basically they learn how to perform in a full
theatrical environment and despite all that we throw at them (or maybe because of it) they
come back week after week, and some even come back year after year.
The actual performances could be considered the reward for all the hard work during the
previous six months rehearsal and judging by the huge grin on the faces of this years cast
I could understand why you would think that. However there is a sense of pride there as
well, because practically every member of the cast has contributed in some way other than
the performance - a song suggestion, a sketch, a dance move – no matter what it was it
was their suggestion and it was included! They have attended rehearsals and achieved
recognition from their piers (the audience) having laughed at a joke they performed,
applauded a poem they have read, and ‘aaahhh’ed after a solo they have sung. All this is
achieved through rehearsals that not only teach the cast the importance of working as a
team, but also patience (having to wait for a mic to become free), trust in others (having
costumes and props ready etc), discipline of being in the right place at the right time (could
this be time keeping as well?) amongst other things including having fun.
There is also another side to GS. Somehow it seems to act as a confidence booster. A
couple of examples of this are cast members that at their first rehearsal remained firmly
planted behind mums skirt, yet somehow seem to be volunteering for solo parts in the
following years production, cast members that have barely been recognized by classmates
are suddenly invited to other cast members birthday parties, performers having unknown
health problems getting support from both cast and production members through worrying
times (and this goes for Adults as well). A senior cast member who has now joined “a
junior Am Dram group” recently posted on facebook (other social media networks are
available) that his performance in this Am Dram group was only possible due to the
confidence boosting of appearing in Gang Show.
Yet on the three performances these items go practically unnoticed because the
production crew have achieved all this with a sense of fun. There are deliberately no titles
amongst our team purely and simply because we are ”a team” and it is considered that the
cast are a major part of that team. Yes there are team members who have specialist skills
but that doesn’t stop the director carving question marks out of insulation, a rehearsal
assistant handing out mics, the lighting operator hanging backdrops and at the end of the
day the teams job is to make the cast look as good as possible and with our on going
policy of “No auditions – everybody welcome” we continue to let the cast shine regardless
So yes Gang Show is a variety show performed by members of the scouting and guiding
community, but it really is a lot more than that
- it’s fun...it is
and even that strap line, now a major part of Gang Show’s branding, was given to us by a