Maidstone Scout Gang Show is a variety show performed at the Hazlitt Theatre Arts Centre, Maidstone
The first Scout Gang Show was performed in London during 1932. It was produced by Ralph Reader, a well known composer and choreographer of the day. He had become successful in America, producing shows on Broadway. When Ralph (an ex-Scout) was asked by the Scout Movement to produce a Scout Show he readily agreed. The style of the show was to be a revue containing songs, dancing and sketches and afterwards, the Daily Mail wrote, “The best revue in the West End”. Gang Show was born.
During the war years Ralph was asked to produce similar shows for the RAF to raise morale. Over the years, both the Scout and RAF Gang Shows have played a significant part of many early careers in show business – Tony Hancock, Dick Emery, Roy Hudd and Peter Sellers, to name but a few. Since then, Scout Gang Shows have snowballed all over the world. The Scouts and Guides of all nationalities produce high quality shows that provide first class entertainment. A platform for the youth of today enabling them to contribute to charity as well as their own funds.
It was once said that “Every night of every year, somewhere in the world a Gang Show is playing”. Today, this is very much an understatement
The aim of the show is to give young people in Scouting the opportunity to develop theatre skills and perform on a professional stage. For some this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The performers are children and adults who are members of the Scouting movement within the Maidstone area who perform items based on Musicals, Comedy Sketches and Popular Music giving their time for rehearsal and the performance free on top of other Scouting and education/work commitments. Those you will see on stage are backed up and supported by a support team of over 60 people again giving their time and skills free in areas of Costumes, Front of House, Make-up, Band, Stage Crew, Scenery, Show Content and Production.
The show week is the culmination of over six months of hard work by both performers and support teams.
The Maidstone Gang Show has been running for nearly 70 years. Our first show was in 1939!
If you have never seen a Gang Show come along and see for yourself how talented the youngsters are. Then sit back and enjoy the electric atmosphere!