GANG shows have been part of the Scouting scene ever since Ralph Reader launched the first show in the early thirties.

Now Hampshire is about to create its own chapter of Gang Show history.

For the first time the creative talents of districts across the county are being brought together in a mega Gang Show production.

The variety extravaganza will have sketches and songs from those iconic Gang Shows in a one-night only performance of Stepping Out at the Winchester Guildhall on Sunday, October 18.

A 130-strong cast featuring Basingstoke and Hedge End Gang Shows, Odiham Scout Show and the Roverang Scout and Guide Show will join forces to showcase the very best in live Scouting entertainment.

As well as those classic Gang Show comedy sketches there will be a multitude of songs from pop to rock, musicals to swing, and Bollywood to funk.

Hampshire Creative Activities Advisor Scott Marshall says: “Many a Scout has presented themselves to a local audience and maybe never ventured beyond the realms of their own district show.

“This event will provide additional opportunities while bringing Scout Shows together under a single banner to forge everlasting links of support for one another.

"With so many Scouts from multiple districts participating, this in itself supports our Scouting Vision 2018.

“We will achieve more by sharing best practice across the Movement and celebrating successes.”

The history of Hedge End Gang Show stretches back to March, 1964 when the 13th Itchen North Scouts decided to start up a show and call it Birds of a Feather.

Originally started by a group of Rover Scouts and Ranger Guides, this year Roverang celebrated its 58th year at Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre with a colourful music and dance extravaganza.

The history of the Gang Show can be traced back to 1931 when Ralph Reader, then a Rover Scout, was trying to make his mark in theatre on both sides of the Atlantic.

He was asked to write a Scout based amateur variety show to help raise money for a swimming pool at Downe Scout Camp (now a Scout Association National Activity Centre).

At first the show did not have a title, but during a rehearsal break, Reader asked a cast member if everyone was ready and the response was “Aye, aye Skip, the gang’s all here”.

The first production, under the title The Gang’s All Here ran between October 30 and November 1, 1932 at the Scala Theatre in Central London.

In 1934 the show became known as The Gang Show and the song Crest of A Wave was performed for the first time, becoming the show’s international anthem.

And in 1937 the London Gang Show became the first amateur production to have a Royal Command Performance, an honour that was repeated in 1957 and 1964.

A feature film called The Gang Show, starring Ralph Reader and The Gang, was premiered at London’s Lyceum Theatre and New York in December 1938.

Hampshire Scouts are seeking sponsorship for Stepping Out and are hoping to involve businesses. To help out contact

  • Tickets at