Gang Show back after 23 years

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Cast members of the Gang Show rehearse at Donovan Primary School.

AFTER a 23-year silence the curtain will rise again on the Southland Gang Show next week.
The variety show, traditionally performed by Southland members of Scouts New Zealand and GirlGuiding New Zealand, came out of retirement after discussions among previous “gangsters”, producer Bill Obers said.
It was during a holiday in Australia last year and attending the Brisbane Gang Show that Mr Obers and others talked about the possibility of a reunion in Invercargill, and of reviving the show.
This year’s show included four leaders and 36 youth members, as well as parents helping behind the scenes who themselves had previously been in Gang Shows.
Mr Obers said unlike their Dunedin counterparts, who put on a show every second year, Invercargill scouts and guides had been silent since 1995 when not enough people auditioned for the local show.
Because it had been so long since a show, all resources had gone and they had to start from scratch this year, he said.
“We lost everything. The costumes, set, scripts, scores and all historic records were disposed of. We only have what each of us can bring to the show so we’re reliant on the people involved until we build those resources again.”
Starting from scratch meant that the show was intentionally simple, while sticking to the “good clean fun” family formula that made Gang Shows popular, Mr Obers said.
There would be variety, singing, movement, comedy and skits during the two-hour performance, with a break for interval.
“There’s something for everyone and we’re hopeful of strong community support to help make it a success to ensure we can perform it again in 2018.”
Southland 2016 Gang Show, Civic Theatre, Invercargill, October 6-8, 7pm and a matinee performance on October 8, 2pm. Tickets, adults $20, children $12, available from the Invercargill City Council booking office or through TicketDirect, www.ticketdirect.co.nz.

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