Liverpool

Birkenhead scouts take 50th Gang Show to the West End

A Birkenhead Scout Group has marked 50 years of Gang Shows by taking their production to a West End stage.

A cast of 80 and production team of 30 travelled to London to perform at the Bloomsbury Theatre, 24 hours after closing the show in Wirral.

It is the first Gang Show to be performed in the West End since 1974.

Birkenhead claims to be the birthplace of Scouting, the 1st and 2nd Birkenhead Troops were founded on the same night in 1908.

The 2nd Birkenhead Scout Troop still meets, making it one of the longest-running troops in the world.

The 2011 Birkenhead Gang Show ran for four days at the Gladstone Theatre in Port Sunlight before packing up after the Saturday matinee to transfer to the Bloomsbury Theatre for one performance on Sunday.

Show producer Graham Lysaght said: "It was to do something different that would show Joe Public how Gang Shows have evolved and scouting has evolved,"

"To move it over 24 hours was to get the attention of people."

Gang Shows, a variety style revue featuring scouts, began in London in 1932 when Rover Scout Ralph Reader produced the first show at the Scala Theatre.

Birkenhead is one of four Gang Shows based on Merseyside alongside Southport, St Helens and West Wirral.

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