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This year "Gang Show" presented by the Middlesbrough Scouts and Guides is at Middlesbrough Theatre from April 1st April 5th 2008, we are also celebrating our 50th year at this venue.

Rehearsals have taken place three nights a week for over 3 months, whilst the production team and back stage crew have been working on the programme, props, stage settings, costumes etc for a long time.

The leaders/helpers involved with the show do this as an additional item to their normal Scouting/Guiding role and like all people involved in the movement do so voluntarily without any pay.

We also have professional people like the Musical Director and Choreographers who also give up their time free of charge to ensure we put on a professional show as is possible.

The show is estimated this year to be costing circa 12000 to put on and this cost has to be found before we can utilise any surplus monies to assist in the provision of activities for the young members of the Scout and Guide Movements.

The history of Middlesbrough Gang Show goes back to before the war, our first show was planned for 1940, in fact we had set the first rehearsal date for September 1939 but everything had to stop for the war! However in 1949 the idea of a show was once again raised and our first show was put on in 1950 in St Johns Hall and was such a success that bigger premises were needed to allow the next show to go on.

So in 1951 and 1953 the shows were staged at the Empire Theatre in Middlesbrough.

These shows were called "The Gang Steps Out" as you are not allowed to be called a "Gang Show" until headquarters has assessed you.

There was then a gap due to a number of reasons but in 1957 the Middlesbrough Scout Districts were asked by headquarters in London to consider a fund raising activity to raise money towards the Baden Powell Hostel in the capital.

It was agreed to re-commence the shows and in 1958 the Scouts of Middlesbrough put on a musical play called "We'll Live Forever" at Middlesbrough Little Theatre.

Following this show we became officially recognised by headquarters as a "Gang Show" and were allowed to wear the traditional emblem of gang shows the red scarf.

We have since 1958 put on a show every two years without fail, using the show as a vehicle to raise funds for the local scouts and guides as well as a recognised local charity.

In 1972 the show saw the introduction of girls into the cast and in 1988 we introduced the Cub Scouts to the show.

As much as all the "Gang" enjoy the experience of being part of the show it also serves as a means to teach young people the meaning of: -

Respect for Others
Increases discipline
Improves their self confidence
Allows them to meet, work and get to know other people who they may never otherwise meet.

Scouting and Guiding nowadays only attracts the bad publicity that arises from the one or two bad apples in the barrel, none of the good activities carried out by the young people in the two movements are ever reported on because its not news, please do
whatever you can to rectify this.

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