By DAVID SHAW
The Cumberland Gang Show is back this July and promises to be bigger, brighter and better than ever.
This year’s show ‘Rise Up’ features a cast of over 150 and will take the audience on an adventure featuring pirates, dinosaurs and a tribute to Sydney.
There will be eight performances at the Riverside Theatres, Parramatta from July 2 through to July 10. After celebrating a very significant milestone with their 50th Show in 2019, the Cumberland Gang Show had a very disruptive 2020 which saw the show started, postponed, rescheduled and ultimately cancelled due to COVID-19.
Cumberland Gang Show is the performing arts arm of Scouts and Guides in Western Sydney. The show’s aim is to train young people in all aspects of theatre and to provide outstanding family entertainment in the process.
This year a number of teens were added to the group’s production team to help make ‘Rise Up’ a reality.
Jacob Selwood from Winston Hills Scouts first joined the show when he was 10 years old, following in his dad’s footsteps. He has a flair for acting and brings great comic timing to the stage. As a member of the production team, he has helped direct and produce several items.
“I love helping to create something that brings happiness and laughter to so many people,” he said.
Renae Swinkels from Castle Hill Guides has enjoyed taking on new challenges this year. “This year is super exciting because I was invited onto the Production Team for the first time to learn about how the show is put together, all the complicated technical bits and of course working with all the other kids my age to learn all the routines and the songs,” she said.
Hannah Watkins from Kellyville Scouts shone on stage in her first solo dance part with the Gang in 2019. This year she has joined the choreography team to help create and teach the dance moves to other cast members.
Production Director Tristan Hornstra says that training young people is a key aim of Scouting and Guiding and Cumberland Gang Show.
“Equipping youth members to succeed and lead others is what it’s all about. We teach singing, acting and dancing and then provide opportunities for young people to develop as leaders and then teach others.”
Reflecting on the last 12 months, Tristan said “It was a tough decision but the right decision to call things off last year but we cannot wait to be back on stage this July”.
Performances at Parramatta Riverside Theatres start on Friday July 2 at 7.30pm, Saturday July 3 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm; Sunday July 4 at 2.30 pm; Wednesday July 7 at 11am; Friday July 9 at 7.30pm, Saturday July 10 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Prices before June 21 are $32 adult, $26.50 Senior, $20.50 child. After June 21, all prices will be $5 more.
Government entertainment vouchers ($25) will be accepted for part payment. Book tickets at riversideparramatta.com.au