In 1932, the Boy Scouts of London held a show at the Scala Theatre to raise money for Downe Campsite. The Show, The Gang’s All Here, was a celebration of comedy, dance and song, showcasing the talents of Ralph Reader. The boys were all given a red neckerchief to make them look like a cast and Gang Show was born, becoming an instant smash hit."The Scouts of Stoke-On-Trent started their own show very soon after, under the title ‘Screamline’ – a show that later achieved Gang Show status. The Gang Show spirit extended from Stoke-On-Trent to Glasgow (in 1936) followed by Newcastle in 1937. This makes Newcastle the third oldest Gang Show in the World and the oldest surviving Gang Show
While World War II put a hold on Scout Gang Shows, the RAF kept the Gang Show flag flying, beginning the careers of such names as Tony Hancock, Dick Emery and Peter Sellers. Newcastle Gang Show was the first to resume after the war continuing for many years. With London Gang Show having closed its curtains for a final time in 1974, Newcastle Gang Show almost suffered a similar fate in 1992. However, after an absence of five years, we returned in 1998 and have grown from strength to strength ever since.
Today, Newcastle Gang Show is the largest Red Neckerchief Gang Show in Northern England, and is proud of our tradition of blending material from different genres and ages, as well as writing and producing entirely new material, to create a Show that we hope Ralph Reader himself would today be proud of. The modern Newcastle Gang Show takes a cast of around 100 and, in a seemingly impossible 12 weeks (or so), seeks out talents that many never knew they had, to produce a Show of professionalism and entertainment for all the family.
We are also are proud to work closely with, and support, several fellow Gang Shows nearby, including Tynemouth, Whitley Bay, Blyth Valley and many others, near and far. It is said that every day of the year there is a Gang Show taking place somewhere in the world.
So, from all at the oldest Gang Show in the world, to Gang Shows around the globe, past, present and future, we echo Ralph Reader's words: TO ALL YOU WHO WEAR THE RED SCARF. OR WHO HAVE EVER WORN A RED SCARF, MAY ALL YOUR DAYS, YOUR WEEKS, YOUR HOURS, MAY YOUR HOURS BE SPENT RIDING ALONG ON THE CREST OF A WAVE. These are the times we shall dream about, And we'll call them the Good Old Days.