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Harpenden Gang Show to celebrate record-breaking 70 years of performances

PUBLISHED: 17:01 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 17 October 2018

The Harpenden Gang Show Cubs in 1949. Picture: Gang Show

The Harpenden Gang Show Cubs in 1949. Picture: Gang Show

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Harpenden Gang Show is preparing to celebrates its 70th anniversary next year, making it the longest-running recognise Gang Show in the world.

The Harpenden Gang Show in 1961. Picture: Gang ShowThe Harpenden Gang Show in 1961. Picture: Gang Show

Every show has been performed at Harpenden Public Halls - the first in October 1949, the second in January 1951 and then every January since then.

Throughout the show’s long history there have been just four producers; Eric Thair, producer from 1949 to 1968, Jack Skinner in 1969, Marilyn Hudson from 1970 to 1993 and Ewan Murray from 1994 to present.

Since 1949, 3,596 young people have performed on the Gang Show stage, some for just one show and one for 17. Nowadays people can only be in nine shows maximum and nobody older than 18 is allowed to perform.

No audition is required to take part, and an estimated 129,400 parents, friends and members of the public have been to see the show.

The Harpenden Gang Show in 1970. Picture: Gang ShowThe Harpenden Gang Show in 1970. Picture: Gang Show

Girls first joined the Gang Show for the 20th show in 1969, when 16 Ranger Guides were invited to take part. In 1979 the Ranger Unit became Venture Scouts and the show reverted to allowing all scouts to participate.

Producer Ewan Murray has been involved with the show for 46 years, making his first appearance on stage as part of the Gang in 1972. He has been musical director of the show since 1989 and producer since 1994.

He said: “I am so proud and privileged to have been part of the Gang, in one form or another, for so long.

“There’s no buzz quite like the Gang Show buzz – whether back stage, on stage or watching. The sheer joy on the faces of the young performers is a sight to behold, and the audiences come back from far and wide every year.

The Harpenden Gang Show in 1988. Picture: Gang ShowThe Harpenden Gang Show in 1988. Picture: Gang Show

“That’s why we are still here after an incredible 70 years.”

The 70th show will run from Tuesday, January 8 to Saturday, January 12 next year.

The box office opens to the public on Saturday, November 3 and tickets can be bought at www.harpenden.gs

The Harpenden Gang Show in 1994. Picture: Gang ShowThe Harpenden Gang Show in 1994. Picture: Gang Show

The Harpenden Gang Show in 2000. Picture: Gang ShowThe Harpenden Gang Show in 2000. Picture: Gang Show

The Harpenden Gang Show in 2009. Picture: Gang ShowThe Harpenden Gang Show in 2009. Picture: Gang Show

The Harpenden Gang Show in 2017. Picture: Gang ShowThe Harpenden Gang Show in 2017. Picture: Gang Show

The Harpenden Gang Show in 2017. Picture: Gang ShowThe Harpenden Gang Show in 2017. Picture: Gang Show

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