Louise Hunter joins Gang Show helm

Feb 5 2023 | By More

New co-director role for Hunter with Andy Johnston

Edinburgh Gang Show has announced that Louise Hunter will join current director Andy Johnston in a new co-director role for this year’s production, running Tue 14 to Sat 18 November 2023 at the Festival Theatre.

Hunter, who first appeared in the show as a Brownie in 2002 before joining the main gang in 2003 will be the first female director of the Edinburgh Gang Show and its fourth successive director over the last 50 years to have come up through the ranks. She is the show’s twelfth director since it was founded in 1960.

Louise Hunter and Andy Johnston. Co-directors of Edinburgh Gang Show 2023

Johnston has directed the EGS on his own for its last 18 productions, having taken over the role in 2003. Although this will be the first time he has worked with a co-director, Hunter has worked with him as an assistant director in previous years.

“I have worked with Andy since I joined the production team, first as a production assistant and then assistant director,” Hunter told Æ. “I have learned so much from him over time – but also in that time I have developed a bit of my own style and personality and brought a bit more into the show.

“Now it will be exciting to take that to the next level and work more as equals in the things that we are going to do.”

Hunter went to Broughton High School, where she was in the specialist dance department, before going on to study dance to degree level. Until recently she was a dance health officer at Scottish Ballet.


She says that for now her commitment is to making sure that the youngsters on stage at the Gang Show get as much out of it as possible.

“I don’t have a strong vision for this year,” she said. “For me, especially in taking on a new role, it is just ensuring that the kids are getting out of it what they want.

“I think that my own vision will develop as we go. For the moment it is working with Andy and finding our feet as equals. Working together will be different for him as well, I imagine, having been in control and then suddenly having someone else to make decisions with.

“At the moment I wouldn’t say I have some big vision, although I’m sure that will come as we go on. For me it is more doing what we’re doing in and finding our feet and working collaboratively making sure we do it well.”

Gang Show 2023

Johnston told Æ that the move to having a co-director is part of a general trend within the Edinburgh gang show, which already has co-choreographers. It is all about developing the show and helping the people involved to develop their own skill.s

He said: “Louise has been working on the team for a while. She has been directing parts of the show and I think all this is doing is giving her the recognition that she really deserves for the work she has done over the past few shows.

“Also, the fact that it seems that her rehearsals are that much more fun than mine! So she gets to do more of them now…”

Johnston doesn’t see Hunter’s dance background as changing the shape or look of the EGS.

“Louise brings a fantastic sense of performance not just within dance,” he said. “She is an accomplished performer in her own right and has done some great work for me over the years going all the way back to Billy Elliott. She brings that side of it to the fore as well as the choreography side.”


The whole change comes partly as a result of the enforced Covid break. 2022 was a unique year on many counts, not just moving to a temporary home at the Festival Theatre, but working with a team and company who were coming to it fresh and, for many, for the first time.

“Once you have got into that hamster wheel of doing something annually you just fall into a routine,” says Johnston. “Having had the time off and coming back you are almost reconfiguring your team, you are putting your team back together.

“It will not necessarily be the same as it was before the break. All that has really happened is a distillation of last year, where we were all working out of our comfort zone because we had not done it for a while.

“It made me realise that what Louise was actually doing was more than what her job title was at the time. I just felt that she he she deserved the recognition of sharing the job basically. It is never easy when you have done something for a long time to then start to realise that you are going to have to share it out a little bit, but it can only be good for the show.”

Listing and Links

The Edinburgh Gang Show 2023 will be at the Festival Theatre Capital Theatres, Edinburgh from Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 November 2023.

The company is looking for enthusiastic young people from South East Scotland Scouts and Girlguiding Edinburgh to join the cast.

Main Gang Auditions (Scouts, Guides, Explorer Scouts, Rangers & Scout Network) will take place on Sunday 23 April 2023.

Junior Gang Auditions (Cub Scouts & Brownies) will take place on Sunday 14 May 2023.

More information about the audition venues, times and format will be announced at a later date.


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