With Photographs


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51SOTS01_WEB.jpg When, on Tuesday, March 28, last year-10 years after the original " Gang Show " idea had been abandoned because of the war-Middlesbrough Scouts' first large-scale " Gang Show " took the stage in St. John's Hall, the hall was about two-thirds full. Wednesday brought almost a capacity audience. Thursday saw the hall packed-and for the rest of the week it was a case of " house full." The " Gang Show " notion had caught the imagination of Tees-siders; its success was assured. Even before the curtain fell on the last performance there were murmurings about " next year's show " and by November thoughts were being turned into actions. It was decided to stage a second revue and one chilly winter's evening an executive committee went into a huddle in the Pine Room at Levick House to formulate plans for an even more ambitious production-this time to be held, if possible, in a " pukka " theatre. The foundations were laid. Since then it has been blood, sweat, tears-and fun- for a much bigger gang than you see on the stage tonight

51SOTS03_WEB.jpgRehearsals two and three nights a week, in schools, in the Co~operative Hall, and finally in the theatre itself (helped along, it has been estimated by a total of something like 150 gallons of tea!). Scenery preparation in a large Middlesbrough garage; the securing, fitting and altering of costumes and wigs; the obtaining of music and its arrangement; " hunting " advertisements and matter for this programme, transport for the younger boys after performances and hospitality for those travelling from afar to see the show-to mention just a few of the tasks.
51SOTS04_WEB.jpgOver-riding all these efforts, however, has been the boundless enthusiasm of ''the Gang " itself-the 140 or so boys and Scouters who make up the rest, and who have never flagged in their determination to produce " only the best." Doubtless it will be the lighter moments that will be longest remembered by the " Gang ". One Scouter recalls, somewhat dubiously, the time when, after working late on a show job, he arrived home in the early hours and had to throw gravel at his brother's window to get in !
51SOTS05_WEB.jpgThen there was the incident in which the vehicle carrying two show officials back from a " confab " with our helpful Newcastle friends broke down out in the wilds about midnight. Not to mention the Scoutmaster who shook the producer one Saturday evening by asking if he might be excused the following week's rehearsal--as he wanted to get married ! Or the spectator at another rehearsal who almost scalded his nose when an enthusiastic Scout knocked the arm holding his cup of "char."
51SOTS06_WEB.jpgProblems ? Yes, dozens of them, Where were we to find nine umbrellas and brief cases, for instance ? How were 500 Scouts-cast, helpers and visitors- and adults going to be catered for between per-formances on the last day ? And who were to replace the two boys in the cast who had the mis-fortune to break their arms (not through rehearsals)? All have been solved somehow, however-thanks largely to very many local supporters who have rallied to our aid. One of the most encouraging features about these " Gang Shows '' has been wealth of goodwill displayed by so many of our Tees-Side friends towards Scouting. We do appreciate it. And after you have seen the show, we sincerely hope you feel it was all worth-while. WE DO.
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