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Scouts show how it's done

PUBLISHED: 11:39 06 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:24 20 February 2013

Scouts show how it's done

Scouts show how it's done

Jill Coggins from Harpenden & Wheathampstead Gang Show explains why it is still going strong after 63 years...

THE Harpenden Gang Show was first performed in 1949 when 86 scouts appeared on stage at the Public Hall. This show was such a success that it become an annual sell-out.

The next show will be its 63rd making us the longest running Gang Show in the UK. Because the show has been so successful and such great fun to be in, there is a high demand for places and the cast has grown in size over the years until it has reached its capacity at 152 Cubs, Scouts and Explorers from Harpenden, Wheathampstead and Kimpton.

The cast is supported by at least a further 100 adults backstage from wardrobe ladies to stagehands and scenery crew, many of whom were in the shows themselves previously.

Rehearsals began in September and by the time of the show in January the cast are full of confidence and enthusiasm, can sing, dance and act and it is a joy to see so many nine to 18-year-olds achieve so much and enjoy doing it.

Harpenden Gang Show is unique in that they do not audition anyone can be in the cast. This gives the children an opportunity to take part and enjoy the experience of being involved in such a large production. From nine-year-olds who take part for the first time to 17-year-olds who have enjoyed being part of the show for several years, they all love the buzz of being on stage.

The 63rd Harpenden & Wheathampstead Gang Show will be packed with music, dance and comedy sketches and runs from January 10 to 14, 2012.


The original Gang Show was performed in 1932 when a young choreographer and producer named Ralph Reader devised and staged a variety show called The Gangs All Here. It was performed by Scouts to raise money to build a swimming pool. Such was the success that Gang Shows up and down the country are still running very successfully.


Tickets can be purchased at or from the Box Office on 07787 606076, open from 6-10pm Mon-Friday; 10am-6pm Sat/Sun.


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