The annual Waikato Gang Show — the special entertainment extravaganza by local Scouts and Guides — starts next weekend and there will be lots of talent on show.

This year's show Sblended Fairy Tales is a continuous story line of seven well-known fairy tales with a story line that mixes them all together with a touch of modern-day influences, says the chairman of the executive committee organising the show, Ken Wedgwood.

Look out for Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Jack with the Bean Stalk, Puss in Boots, the Three Billy Goats Gruff, and more.

"As well as the young performers, many adults, both leaders and parents and previous cast members give of their time for the youth so they can experience the thrill of being on stage," says Ken.

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"Although smaller in number this year there is still the same euphoria and general excitement of taking part in an event that shows their families and friends and their fellow Scouts and Guides what they can achieve," he says.

Every Sunday since May and sometimes a Saturday as well they all meet at a local school hall to rehearse.

There are more than 25 songs to learn and most of them have choreography as well.
Then there are the words, acting moves, how to smile and at times how to look glum.
"Scouting and Guiding develops the capabilities of each individual.

"Our slant on this is to do it through a theatre-based training experience," says Ken

"They also gain in confidence so that at times it is difficult to recognise the child from the one that auditioned.

We also show them how to talk and walk correctly and how to put on stage make-up for both girls and boys."

The show is at the Riverlea Theatre, Hamilton. Performance dates are September 8 to 15 (no show on Wednesday 12th) and tickets are available through iTICKET or through www.iticket.co.nz/events/2018/sep/sblended-fairy-tales


What is a Gang Show?

Gang Shows are not some new-fangled concept to keep kids off the streets but a well-founded training scheme which began in London in 1932.

Originally Gang Shows were of the old style music hall/variety format with blocks of song and dance interspersed with comedy, such as skits and small sketches. The majority of shows around the world still keep to this format.

Originally just for boys, as Scouting was in those days, it soon spread around the world and came to New Zealand in 1954.

In 1971 and 1972 Chartwell Scout Group was big enough to do their own Scout Group Gang Show.

Now, with girls in Scouting and the involvement of GirlGuiding, Gang Shows have taken on a different vibe.