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Scouts! The Musical Review

Writer: Becky

always wanted to be a Scout growing up, not a Guide. Gigglemug’s irrefutably heartfelt new offering, Scouts! The Musical, unearthed that childhood trauma all over again, in the best possible way; I feel like a Scout, even if I never was one. A true Scout doesn’t need to don a woggle—as Scouts! declares, it’s who you are inside, and how you act, that counts. This is a message that could easily become didactic if over-egged, but much like the group’s previous offerings, the show toes the thin line between something having meaning and it becoming panto. 

Scouts! The Musical. Photo by Benkin Photography

The result is a slick hour-and-a-half of toe-tapping tunes and unrestrained laughter. As demonstrated by one audience member who’d brought his son: this is a musical that’s just as fun for kids as it is nostalgic adults.

The plot is uncomplicated: once a year, Scouts gather to participate in “The Scout Games”, and the winner receives a golden Scout badge, suitably bedazzled. Charlotte (Emily Kitchingham) is determined to throw the affair off-course through entertaining villainy and a “Time Warp”-esquenumber about “doing the trance dance”, and whilst there is little doubt of a happy ending, the stakes are well-established. For Scouts Joe (Joel Nash) and Ayesha (Sydney Spencer), and Scout Leader Dylan (Kemi Clarke) this is the be-all and end-all, lest the good name of the Scouting Movement be sullied forever. It was never in doubt that these characters care deeply about being Scouts, and those three prongs of the promise are upheld by the end: “to uphold Scout values … help other people, and to keep the Scout Law.” 

Whilst the comedy and songs are fairly evenly spread among the cast, special mention must go to Rob Gathercole and Katie Pritchard, whose characters Rosie, Luke, and Linus had me laughing whenever they were on-stage. Equally, I’ve never seen someone so adept at knot-tying. Overall, Scout!’s castembodied children without being childish, meaning that whilst their youth was palpable, the performances did not feel like caricature. It would be easy to put on a silly accent and call it a day, especially since each cast member plays at least two roles, but I was never given the impression that their characters were beneath them. They weren’t making fun of children, perhaps instead they were playing into a side long-lost to adulthood. 
Crucially, they looked like they were having the best time, which meant I was having the best time, too.

The cast of Scouts! The Musical. Photo by Benkin Photography

This is a small show cast-wise, but its massive heart could probably carry it upon a stage much larger than The Other Palace Studio. At times, it was evident that even a few feet more space could have saved the cast trying to slip past one another as they changed instruments (which they did frequently! The talent!) or performed numbers. 

This is not to say this took away from the show as a whole, rather that it makes me wonder where this musical could go in the future. It’s the little Scouting musical that could, and I hope Scouts (past, present, and future) all over the country get to experience some of its joy. Lord knows the world needs some of its heart.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Scouts The Musical plays at The Other Palace Studio until Sunday 9th July. Limited tickets remain available for

Scouts! The Musical. Photo by Benkin Photography

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