The Corby Gang Show is an annual variety show provided by the Scouts and Guides of the Glendon District in the county of Northamptonshire. We have been running for nearly 60 years and we are continuing to grow each year to ensure that we can bring fantastic fun filled performances to you!
The aim of our show is to give young people in Scouting and Guiding the opportunity to experience all aspects of performance skills including singing, dancing, acting, comedy and also promoting traditional scouting values whilst performing in an amateur theatrical environment. This process over the years has enabled young people and adults to develop their confidence, self-esteem, commitment, team working skills, improve their social skills by making new friends, and also enhance their sense of community by providing entertainment to the public and to the borough of Corby by representing their town and also Scouting and Guiding in Glendon District.
The idea of the Gangshow comes from a man called Ralph Reader CBE who wrote, produced and
directed the first Gangshow in London in 1932. At that time Ralph Reader was a British actor,
producer and choreographer who was very active in the Scouting Movement. The production of the
London Gangshow which was entitled ‘The Gang’s All Here’, was a mixture of sketches, songs and
dance numbers that’s initial aim was to raise funds. The public and the critics were hugely impressed
so much so that the following year Ralph Reader created the production of ‘The Gang Comes Back’
which was a huge success ending up in hundreds being turned away and from that moment on the
public referred the shows as ‘The Gangshow’ which is where the concept was created. The
Gangshows are like any other theatrical production except the stars of the show were solely
volunteers and nine times out of ten the boys dressed up as girls! Ralph Reader then went on
to write a lot of the material that you see in Gangshows today especially the signature song of
‘On the Crest of a Wave’ that is featured in most Gangshows around the world that are based on
the original concept of the London Gangshow in 1932.
Ralph Reader decided that the cast members should be organised as a Scout Troop which then lead to the Troop wanting an identifying feature which was then decided to be the red scarf/necker, which has now become a worldwide symbol of Gangshows and to distinguish one show from another it was decided that the name of the show would go through the initials GS and be embroidered in gold writing on the back of the red scarf.
Corby Gangshow were lucky enough to be awarded our red scarf by Ralph Reader himself in 1962 and we have held onto it since with pride. We were proud to be asked in 2011 to introduce the concept of Gangshows to the Danish members of the Scout Association. Whilst rehearsing for our own show in the UK video clips were being shared with our scouting friends in Denmark for them to rehearse to, so that when the Corby Gang arrived in Denmark we had 3 days to pull together a fully integrated show – Denmark’s first ever Gangshow in their country. We have since maintained the connection and have produced a further Danish Gangshow that happened in 2013 and we hope to continue to support Danish Gangshows in years to come – this strengthens and maintains the links and friendships that arise from Gangshows.