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History of Cumberland Gang Show

Our Gang Show began in Ryde in 1969 when 'Rip' Butler produced his first group show with a cast of 40. This grew to a full Gang Show in 1970 when "Ryde Gang Show" played at Ryde High School Auditorium. One of the unwritten rules in Gang Show is that a Gang does not adopt a badge on its scarf until it has completed three Shows and therefore demonstrated that the Show is established as a working concern and not just a "one-night stand".

Cumberland earned its badge as Ryde Gang Show in 1971. In 1972, our sister movement - The Guides - joined the cast and the show had widened to cover East and West Moocooboolah and Warekila. The Gang outgrew Ryde and moved to Marsden High School. In 1975, we became Cumberland Gang Show and then in 1979, after 10 years as Producer, Rip handed the reins to Rob Lang. Rob had been in the cast for eight years and on the Production team for six, so he had a wealth of production and technical experience.

The show moved from strength to strength under Rob's watchful eye and in 1988 we moved from the old venue of Marsden High School to the new Riverside Theatre with a cast of 108 and an audience of 6000 people. Since then, apart from a one-year stint at the Hills Centre in 1990 for our 21st show, we have made Riverside our home.

In 1993 we trialed a new arrangement with 144 cast, split into "Gilbert" and "Sullivan" casts of 108 each, doing 12 performances to a total audience of about 7500 people. It worked so well that Rob decided to do it again the following year and now it has become a sort of tradition,
giving twice as many young people the opportunity to be in Gang Show each year. In 1994, Cumberland enjoyed a fantastic twenty fifth anniversary with a huge reunion of past and present members of the Gang reminiscing about the great times they've had "Riding the Crest of a Wave". In 2004, we celebrated our 35th fantastic season and Rob’s 25th season as Producer. Quite a milestone!

In 2009, we celebrated our 40th show and invited many of our 'veteran' cast back to the stage to sing for us 'These Are The Times'. It was fantastic to have these ex-cast members come back once more and experience the thrill of performing with the Gang another time.

There are no stars in Gang Show. All members of the Gang, be they in the cast, behind the scenes, front of house or out in the car park, gives of their BEST. In this way, in the past and in 'the future, each member of our Gang will be proud to say - "I am a member of the CUMBERLAND GANG".