ORIGINS OF THE WONARGO REVUE
The WONARGO REVUE is a family show presented by the Scout Association and is based on the concept by the late Ralph Reader CBE who, in 1932, originated a variety show called the London Gang Show.
Ralph Reader was a professional choreographer who was involved with many shows staged on Broadway. He changed his career to concentrate on producing the London Gang Show which included composing all the songs and sketches over a period spanning 40 years.
The Brisbane Gang Show commenced in 1952 and was the first Gang Show in the world to be performed outside of London.
The Wonargo Revue has incorporated this Gang Show concept and has been an annual event since our first performance in 1972. Performing in the Northgate Virginia Scout Den, the Revue commenced at the request of some scouts in Wonargo District and has gained popularity ever since in providing a family, variety show of songs, hilarious sketches, dance routines, dazzling stage effects and costumes.
THE WONARGO REVUE TODAY
The Wonargo Revue has grown and matured since 1972 and is seen by up to 1,200 people in our audiences each year. In the late 1980’s Northgate Virginia Scout Group closed and the den became the Wonargo Cultural Centre and the Revue’s permanent home.
Each year we have a Cast of 35 to 50 members. Application for cast is open to any registered, Uniform, Financial member of Scouts Australia – Queensland Branch Inc aged 10 and above (as at Final Night) who are prepared to participate in Wonargo Revue in addition to their regular Scouting activities.
BENEFITS OF WONARGO REVUE
Wonargo is primarily a Training activity for the benefit of our youth members. However over the years we have looked to expand this across the other sections as well. Whilst most of the benefits listed below are designed for our Cast members, they apply equally to all the support members as well.
The benefits of participation in Wonargo can be separated into 3 main areas:
* Theatrical skills and knowledge;
* Personal development;
* Social relationships.
Skills and Knowledge
Participation as a cast member at first glance means learning songs and sketches. Whilst this is true, there are many other theatrical skills that are also taught. These skills include voice and singing techniques, acting and comedy delivery skills, use of stage technology e.g. sound equipment and the acquisition of knowledge in stagecraft and terminology.
The learning of theatrical skills also contributes to one’s personal development. The Revue gives the opportunity for youth members to explore and develop other talents used in stage productions. These could include singing, dancing, acting and musical talents. Further, confidence, self esteem, character building, creativity and initiative also contribute to one’s personal development by participating in the Wonargo Revue.
By working hard and upholding the Scout motto of ‘doing your best’, a personal satisfaction is achieved and acknowledged publicly. This rewards great effort and enforces the drive to achieve.
A major element in the Wonargo Revue is its team approach to all the activities. Therefore, participating in the Revue promotes the development of social relationships in becoming effective team members in working towards a common goal. Youth members learn to respect others with dignity, take responsibility and be accountable for one’s actions and to honour their commitment.
Wonargo is very much a Family environment where everyone works together for the good of the show as a whole – regardless of specific role or area of responsibility.
All the above are achieved in a Fun and Safe Environment