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Memories of Chester's Gang Show

This year marked 60 years in production of popular Scouting event

Chester Scouts Gang Show, 1981

Last week, when Chester Scouts’ Gang Show performed in the Vanbrugh Theatre at Chester’s King’s School, there was a special meaning behind it.

The show marked 60 years in production of the ever popular theatrical review for young people.

Theatre productions have always played a big part in the activities of Chester Scouts, with the first show involving the whole district running for three performances staged in the Cathedral Refectory in January 1953.

Chester Scoutabout Gang at Campbell Memorial Hall in the early 1980s

Following this success, the show was put on a more permanent footing and moved to the Royalty Theatre in City Road.

At the time the show was known as Scoutabout, but later the name Gang Show was used to bring the show in line with similar shows around the United Kingdom, as well as in Australia and the USA.

After their show at the Royalty, the Gang Show moved to the ABC Cinema for performances, then on to the Gateway Theatre and for the past few years, has performed at the The King’s School.

Chester Gang Show in 1981

Things are now much more sophisticated, but the standard has always been high and the aim has been to involve about 100 on stage performers plus back stage and front of house supporters in delivering a high quality family show in a professional setting.

David Bull from Chester & District Scouts said: “Throughout the years, the Gang Show has received a great deal of support and encouragement from the professional theatre including Russ Abbott, Ronnie Barker, Ken Dodd, Dame Thorn Hurd, Roy Hudd, Matthew Kelly, Michael Le Vell, and Philip Schofield.

Chester Scoutabout Gang Show circa 1981

Gerald Roose, chairman of the Business Committee for the Gang Show, added: “Why do we do it? There must be many thousands, young and old, who still remember the fun and achievement of simply getting a show on to the stage.

“And those looking for a course in the premier league of character-building and ingenuity, look no further!”

Do you remember any of these shows? Share your memories in the comments below.

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