Important Announcement from the Producer/Director
16th March 2020
I want to let you know about an important decision about Gang Show 2020. In the midst of escalating covid-19 action nationally, and consistent with our focus on putting the health and safety of our cast, crew and audience first, we have after careful consideration decided to cease rehearsals for Cumberland Gang Show effective immediately and postpone the 2020 show.
David Stopps (Region Commissioner, GWSR) and I have been monitoring the information provided by government authorities including the Federal and State Departments of Health, as well as the Scouts NSW COVID-19 Taskforce to plan for any health, safety and welfare risks, so we could make appropriate decisions for this year’s Gang Show.
Following the announcement late last week, by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been defined as a pandemic and the subsequent recommendation from the Prime Minister that all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people be cancelled from 16 March, we felt it important to act now to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our community which at this time calls for us to minimise gatherings and postpone major events.
This has been a disappointing decision for us to make, but it is important that we follow the guidelines from the government, which are based on expert health advice and are designed to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 in Australia.
We would like to thank everyone for your understanding of this difficult decision. I can assure you it was not taken lightly, but based on the information and the unprecedented conditions surrounding the virus outbreak. I know all of you are as disappointed as I am that we won’t be able to continue at this time to get together with our mates, achieve our very best and deliver a stunning show that we can all be proud of. However, it is for the greater good that we stop now and we will keep you informed about future plans as soon as the situation allows. Our intention is that the show will go on in some form at some point. Our hope is that day comes soon. We are unable to say at this time when the postponed show will be rescheduled, but we will be in touch as soon as we can to provide further information as it comes to hand.
If there is one thing we learn at Gang Show, it’s resilience – to keep our heads high when the going gets tough; to accept the challenges we face no matter how difficult they may be; and to never give up on our dreams.
And right now we can take a leaf from history and be inspired by it. Lord Baden Powell saw the first Gang Show in London in 1932 and he told Ralph Reader, “this show must go on, and on”. And so it has, all around the world for 88 years, but not without pause. Ralph stopped the show when World War Two started and rightly so. It remained on pause until the war was over and the show could start again. Today, in 2020, this is another occasion when the greater good must prevail and we will be forthright in following Ralph’s lead. I am therefore determined to do two things. The first is to cease the current show at this point, at this time, in the interests of safety and concern for our people. The second is to restart it again as soon as that is possible.
So we are on hold. Rehearsals will cease immediately and the show will not be going ahead in July. I ask you to keep your scripts and other information. I ask other departments to freeze their development work but keep everything you have done so far ready for reactivation when the time comes. We will contact the whole gang when we know more and I hope most of the gang will be able to accommodate any new dates we may be able to arrange. I appreciate that some of you may not be able to continue due to other commitments, and in that case we will give you a complete refund of cast fees and hope you can join us again in 2021. For the remainder, we will be performing the 2020 show in some form when we can. Stay tuned.
Updates and information about Scouting and the COVID-19 can be found on the Health and Safetypage of the Scouts NSW website. Should you have any additional questions about Scouting & COVID-19 that have not been addressed by the information in this email or on the website, please direct all enquiries via email to .
At the heart of all that we do in Scouting is the safety and wellbeing of our members, we want to thank you for your understanding.
Right now, stay positive and stay healthy. On behalf of the Region Commissioner, CGS Management Committee & the Production Team, I want you to know we care about you. That’s why we have made this decision. Look after yourselves and we’ll be in touch.