The performing arts enjoy a strong tradition within Scouting, with Scout and Guide Shows performed all around the country. Gang Shows, Showtimes and Revues are amateur productions involving Scouts and Guides and typically have a large cast of young people (sometimes up to 150!) The shows are lively variety theatre productions involving singing, dancing, acting and comedy. A production like this also requires many people behind the scenes, so Scout and Guide shows have an even larger group of volunteers who help out in areas such as backstage, orchestra, set-building, catering, promotions and production.
Scout Shows are a wonderful experience for cast members and behind-the-scenes volunteers alike. Participating in a large scale theatre production is a valuable training method for members as well as a whole lot of fun! Participants learn skills specific to the theatre, such as stagecraft and technical skills, along with contributing to personal growth and development. Many people with careers in the performing arts industry got their start and learned the ropes through participating in a Scout Show!
Along with annual performances by shows all around Australia, Gang Shows are also performed at each Australian Jamboree, gathering together Scout Show participants from around the country.
The origins of Gang Show date back to 1932 in London, when a Rover by the name of Ralph Reader, who already had a name for himself as a performer and choreographer on Broadway and in the West End, was asked to write a show to help raise funds for a Scout swimming pool. The first shows were well-received, and Lord Baden-Powell persuaded Reader to stage another production the following year. Since this start, Gang Shows and Scout shows have sprung up all around the world, and carry on the tradition of the Gang Show.
For more information on shows in your area and how to get involved (or go along and watch!), check out the links below.