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Gang Show Scotland Report

Scottish Gang Show – Saturday 18th August 2007

His Majesty’s Theatre ABERDEEN

FINAL REPORT 7th January 2008

It is over three months since the Centenary Gang Show, and it has taken that long to complete the accounts, receive and pay invoices, and for all cheques sent, to be cashed.

I have divided this report into six sections, and relevant documents along with final bank statement and a more detailed financial statement is included with the report.



The aims and objectives of the project is attached and apart from the proposed weekend workshop, have been met. It seems a long time since the seed was sown to the seven Gangs.

The seed developed and was nurtured by the production team. The seven Casts did indeed share a great experience, and one that I still get reports about wherever I go. Many of the cast members are still in contact with each other by E mail, through text and web sites. This is a positive spin off considering many met for the first time at the Stirling rehearsal.

We had good cover from the media and press, and gave a positive public image to the external organisations who attended. A programme was given to all who attended, and has been sent to many others who sponsored the event. The intention being, we wanted people to know about the seven shows, and what they give to their local communities as well as information about their individual web sites.


A number of meetings were held in Stirling, with the Gang Show representatives from each show, but the main form of communication between myself and the Directors was by E mail and word documents. It was challenging to pull together a programme that was agreed by all, and that could be produced with local rehearsal and limited Theatre rehearsal. It was agreed at the second meeting, that we would need to call an extra rehearsal the week before the show due to many Gangs, not being able to travel to Aberdeen on the Friday evening. I appointed a Musical Director and a Stage Director who would take charge of production discussions and deliver an unbiased professional support to all Gangs once in the Theatre. With a cast of 350, dressing room space was at a premium, with three Gangs using a Church Hall next door to the Theatre. The show was varied, and gave each Gang an opportunity to perform their own style of number and to take part in two full cast items that were very special.

I started negotiations with the Centenary pipe band, at an early stage, for input to the show, but found the management uncommunicative with their members, and with me.

The result was a small group of pipers and drummers who attended and were supported by the Greenock Pipe band, for which I was very grateful.

They were short in numbers but provided quality to the show.

We hired a marquee pitched in the gardens across the road from the Theatre, to feed all the performers and helpers. The cost for this was greater than we would have liked, but a necessary item due to the inclement weather.

A group of volunteers provided 1000 sandwiches and packed lunch as well as serving
a hot meal between the matinee and evening shows.


The first budget proposal had projected income and expenditure. This was far from complete and over the months following, expanded as costs were known. The second
budget that was sent to the Awards for All group as part of our Lottery Application still did not include the changing priorities such as full cast rehearsal at Stirling, and the extra cost of marquee hire. Both these items increased our over all expenditure
but were very necessary. Part of the agreement made by me to the seven Gangs was that no Gang should incur unnecessary expenses for the trip. They would meet their own expenses as far as their own items and their local rehearsals. Because of the increased projected expenditure, costume costs were mainly met by each Gang.

Ticket sales were not as brisk as we thought they would be. Although the evening performance was well sold, the matinee was only 60% full. The ticket sales surplus was sent some time after the show and was disappointing due to the many costs included in the Theatre hire, some hidden at the time of booking.

The programme was self funding by the generous donations from sponsors. It was agreed that each person would receive a programme as a thank you for their support and to help publicise Gang Shows to a wider audience.

We were also grateful to other sponsors who helped finance part of the budget by giving donations.

The DVD that was produced, was also non profit making, and in fact made a surplus that was donated back to us. This was in deed a great help to my team as it provided a professional product and dealt with the orders direct. I have, since the show, had requests from Denmark, Germany and English shows for copies. I had some very delicate discussions with the Theatre production team who made representation to me on behalf of their crew. They wanted double time payments due to us filming. I managed to present a case that satisfied the Theatre, and they in turn made a payment to their team.


An application was completed and sent to the awarding body. This took some time to complete, and to find referees that were not associated with the show. ( I do have some friends) We were delighted when we received a £10,000 grant. The successful application meant that the show would produce a small surplus depending on ticket sales. A member of the Awards for All committee telephoned prior to the show to offer support.

A separate report is being completed as part of the application and has to be sent by February. We have to send original receipts for certain items, and keep all other receipts for two years.


I was delighted with the response from the seven Gang Shows, from the Directors, and the Casts. The support locally from the Musical Director (Graham) and Stage Director (Judith) and members of my local management team (Jill, Gerard, Eva) helped make the job of pulling the show together manageable.

The support from Graeme Luke at SHQ was essential as my contact for the 2007 group, as well as giving me a listening ear when the pressure was on.

The support from Aberdeen City Council also provided a high profile wine reception for visiting dignitaries’ from other Councils and as a thank you to the Directors and other sponsors from the Gangs.

I asked at an early stage for permission to open a bank account for easy management and was advised against it and to keep it within SHQ. However, after discussion with the Awards for All group, I realised that we would not be successful with an application for funding without our own account.

So I had to take the decision and open one with myself, the treasurer and Graeme Luke as signatories. It was important for me to have Graeme as he was my link to SHQ and helped us to feel less remote. Regular bank statements were sent to finance at SHQ. At times my Treasurer and myself have felt under unnecessary pressure to provide the surplus and final accounts before we were ready to do so.

The show ticked all the boxes, and because of the success of budget, the sponsors and especially the Awards For All, there is a small surplus. Although nothing has been booked or arranged for a follow up workshop, I hope that this will be considered.

This event was never considered by me or members of my committee to be a money raising venture. It was always going to be reliant on sponsors and ticket sales, something that was only in my control as far as the number of letters I sent making various requests. It was certainly our intention to stay within a budget and to give a great deal of pleasure to young people, willing to share their talents.


My thanks go to all who helped in any way to make the show a success. The Production teams from each of the seven Gangs, the staff at His Majesty’s Theatre, the Cast Members, the local management team, with special mention to Jill Rafferty our treasurer, whose calm nature kept me sane. Aberdeen City Council for generous support.

Our band under Graham’s baton, who also attended the Stirling rehearsal as well as the show.

To the huge number of volunteers front of house, backstage, in dressing rooms, those providing catering, those who pitched a tented village at Templars’ park for the Casts and pipers who stayed Friday and Saturday nights, the caterers who fed them, and provided a late night disco after the show.

A huge amount of volunteer hours went into the planning, rehearsing, and delivering
this event, as well as a great deal of out of pocket expenses by the volunteers for travel and other contingencies never claimed for.

Ian W Dow signed on behalf of the organising committee.

Executive Producer

Regional Commissioner

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