Bristol Gang Show
The Bristol Gang Show is an annual production held at The Bristol Hippodrome, in Bristol. As the production is a Gang Show the cast is made up entirely by members of the Scouting and Guiding movement; many of the supporting members are also involved in Scouting and Guiding. The show currently takes place in October/November time, usually to coincide with the English school holiday held at this time. The show itself is a variety show, with singing, dancing and comedy. The show has a live orchestra, contains many different styles of songs such as 'pop' songs past and present and songs from musicals.
In the 1930s there were two Boy Scout Revues, but it was not until 1971 that the Bristol Gang Show as it is now known was held. The 1971 show was performed not at the Bristol Hippodrome, but at the Victoria Rooms, the cast consisted of 85 Cubs and 59 adults. The show was a huge success and over 6000 people attended, the need for a larger venue was obvious. So, the 1972 show was held at the Bristol Hippodrome. In 1974 the Bristol Gang Show became Avon County Gang Show as the county of Bristol had become part of the Avon.
In 1975 the standard of the show was officially recognised when it was awarded the Gang Show Emblem to wear on the red Gang Show neckerchiefs, this is an important award for a Gang Show to receive. Ralph Reader, who founded the Gang Show idea, came to see the show in 1978 and gave it much praise. In 1997 the show celebrated its Silver Jubilee, and regained its title of Bristol Gang Show. In 1999 girls were introduced into the junior cast, and now accountant for about half of the total junior cast. The show now has a cast of about 120, and is one of the most professional Gang Shows in the UK.
The 2007 show takes place between 30 October and the 3 November, once again in the Bristol Hippodrome. 2007 celebrates 100 years of Scouting, and marks 25 years since the death of Ralph Reader who conceived the idea of a Gang Show.