SCOUTS and Guides are set appear in their Gang Show at Christchurch Regent Centre next month marking 60 years of performing in the town.
Featuring slapstick humour, songs, dances and sketches for all ages, the show will be performed by a cast of 78. It will be rolled out for two evening performances on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd February — plus a matinee show on the Saturday.
The original Gang Show format was created by Somerset-born actor, songwriter, Scout and theatre producer Ralph Reader. Following performances at London’s Scala Theatre in the early 1930s, the concept was formally adopted by the RAF as a way of keeping up morale, and Gang Show units toured bases from Iceland to Burma.
This year the show will also include some of Ralph’s own songs like Strolling and the traditional grand finale On the Crest of a Wave. It will also include classic campfire skits and sketches, hits from the West End and Broadway, and favourites from blockbuster films such as The Greatest Showman and Mary Poppins.
Tickets are £12 for adults and £7.50 for children, but we’ve teamed up with Christchurch Regent Centre to give one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets by answering the question in the leisure competition on page 32 of this week’s A&T, on news stands now.
Over the years, many Scouting organisations around the world have adopted the Gang Show, and Christchurch’s is one of the longest-running in the country, having begun life way back in April 1960 at the Priory church hall, before moving to the old town hall in 1963, Twynham School in 1969 and latterly the Regent Centre in 1998. This will be their 41st Christchurch Gang Show over the 60-year period, as the show is now produced every two years.
In 1966 Ralph presented the Christchurch Scouts and Guides with their special Gang Show red scarf, when he attended a celebration event at the old Pontins Holiday Camp ballroom in the town. Since then the Christchurch Gang Show has worn it proudly.
For information and tickets www.regentcentre.co.uk or call the box office on 01202 499199.