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Gang Shows

ralph_readerThe late Ralph Reader CBE dedicated over forty years of his life to Scouting writing songs and sketches that would be performed on a West End stage by Scouts from London, but the Gang Show concept was too exciting to be limited to London and soon Gang Shows sprung up all over Britain and across the Scouting world.

At rehearsals one evening in 1932 Ralph called the cast together after a break and he asked ‘Are they all back?’ a cockney voice piped up ‘Aye, aye skip, the gangs all ere’ that became the title of the show and gave the name to all Gang Shows ever since.

gang show on stageThere’s something of the unique spirit of Scouting that is captured when a Gang Show takes to the stage, during many weeks of rehearsals and the nights of the show it is an ensemble performance of verve, enthusiasm and teamwork it brings young people and adults closer together as everyone who takes part does so on an equal basis, and anyone with lines or a song is just fortunate and although ‘stars’ may emerge they join in with the chorus as the occasion demands.

Gang Show is more than mere entertainment, it is a young persons’ activity. It provides the opportunity for the talented to excel and for others to support, it develops team spirit, confidence, reliability, and self-discipline.

A scarlet scarf has become internationally accepted as a symbol of Gang Shows, along with an identifying badge in gold on the point of the scarf, which can only be worn after the production has completed annual performances of a high standard, this standard is now known as National Recognition.

Gang Show Scarf

Scout Gang Shows in Hampshire Scout Districts that have obtained this recognition

Basingstoke   Eastleigh   Gosport   Odiham     Itchen North (Hedge End)

Other Gang Shows maybe performed in our area but we have no information.

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Roverang is a show that began in 1957 in the Itchen area of Southampton, when Rover Scouts and Rangers got together to perform a colourful music and dance extravaganza, the production now brings together Scouts, Guides, Brownies and Cub Scouts from across the city and has provided hundreds of local young people with the opportunity to perform in a professional theatre, make new friends, try new experiences and grow in confidence.