Marple Gang Show is an annual event in the Marple calendar, being performed at the Carver Theatre around March. Last year (2019) the cast celebrated their 55th annual show.
The amateur show is based on the original London Gang Show by Ralph Reader, and consists of musical items interspersed with sketches. It features a cast of around 85 people kitted out in approximately 2,000 items of costumes! Many unusual props, backdrops and sets are specially created by members of the backstage team.
Over the years, many Marple families have been involved with the show; cast members have been known to follow in their parents (or even grandparents) footsteps as a part of the Gang.
Our ‘Gang’ is made up of Marple Scouts and Guides along with a number of their Leaders. The Gang rehearse intensely over a 12 week period starting in January to put together the songs, sketches and dance routines ready for 11 performances in March.
Behind the scenes parents, leaders and local volunteers work tirelessly to create scenery, costumes and props to create a professional-standard production.
The ‘Red Necker’
The Marple Gangshow has been awarded the coveted "Red Necker", a National Scout Award presented only to those Gang Shows of quality and structure similar to those first produced in professional London theatres. The eligibility for the Red Necker is re-assessed regularly, and Marple Gang Show is proud that they have maintained the standard of the show and their cast worn the Red Necker consecutively since 1978.
The first Marple Gang Show was in 1965 when Scouters and Guiders were asked to put on an entertainment for Marple Senior Citizens at the Parish Hall on Chadwick Street.
The reputation of Marple’s show stretches far and wide with cast members from other Gang Show travelling many miles to see the only Gang Show in the entire country that is produced by a Local Group (as opposed to District or County).