Gang Show is go!

Nov 12 2016 | By More

Gang Show celebrates Cubs centenary

Edinburgh’s Gang Show is tuning up for its 2016 edition with the usual massed ranks of young singers and performers ready for its six performances at the King’s next week –  Tue 15 to Sat 19 November.

This year there will be over 250 youngsters involved in the show, including over 100 Brownies in two different casts, 108 in the main gang and a troupe of 70 Cubs, who will be celebrating the centenary of the formation of the Cubs.

Gang Show 2015 - the finale. Photo: Scott Parker Studio.

Gang Show 2015 – the finale. Photo: Scott Parker Studio.

Once again, Andy Johnston will be directing the company. He promises a solid chunk of songs from musical theatre, with new musicals Finding Neverland, the current Broadway show Something Rotten and School of Rock – which opens in London this week.

“We have our finger on the pulse there,” Johnston says with a laugh. “Which is quite a coincidence! But we also touch on some more old-fashioned stuff, there’s some Hairspray in there and some Jekyll and Hyde.

“It is a hundred years of Cubs,” he continues. “So the Cubs are celebrating in their own inimitable style. There is about 70 of them and they have a little medley that is more modern stuff – a bit of One Direction, a bit of Justin Timberlake. There’s also a touching bit from the Brownies who are part of a tribute to your mother.”

The great draw of the Gang Show, one which makes it extend beyond those who are directly involved with the Scouting organisation, is the genuine Musical Hall style that Johnston keeps going. This year he has been writing new comedy and reveals that new items include a bit of information about what would happen if Shakespeare came to Scotland, with material about the perils of auditioning for a show.


This year’s production will involve over 100 adult helpers. Very sadly, however, it will be without John Duncan, Johnston’s long-term musical partner in staging the show. John, who became involved with the Edinburgh Gang Show in 1986, passed away in September this year, weeks after passing his MD baton over to Andy Thomson.

“We touch on Billy Elliot in this show, because that was one of John’s favourite things,” says Johnston, referring to the Gang Show’s exuberant performances of Billy Youth Theatre in 2010. “And that is a nice little tribute to John.

“What is also nice is that a lot of his orchestrations are still being used. We dug some stuff out of the archives that we had done many, many years ago, so his music is still going to be heard. Which, ultimately, is probably the way he would best want to be remembered.”


Edinburgh Gang Show 2016
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ
Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 November 2016.
Evenings: 7pm; Matinee, Sat: 2.15pm.
Tickets and details:


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