Watch This Space

CAMBERWELL Showtime is an annual amateur production by the Scouts and Guides of Boroondara and Yarra (and friends). They perform, write, direct, and organise the whole show as a team. 2019 marks Showtime’s 55th year. The writing process for this year’s production started last November when the group went to a camp in Queenscliff where they developed ideas, coming up with its ‘space’ theme.

Camberwell Showtime is one of only a few Scout Shows in Australia still writing all the sketches and actors’ dialogue, with a team composing original music and lyrics each year. There are many reasons scouts and guides participate in Camberwell Showtime. According to participant, Claudine, “some of us do it to make friends, some for the music, but all of us do it for the fun. Many helping out with the show are parents and young adults. We all have a great time and feel great about helping out”.

Although not aimed at developing young people for careers in the entertainment and media industries, many former show members have gone on to enjoy success in these fields. Andy Lee, Steve Vizard, John Safran and Tom Gleisner have all been cast members of Camberwell Showtime.

Rehearsals are held at Canterbury Girl’s High School from May to August. Dedication is required but everyone involved says they loves it. Claudine: “We don’t rehearse non-stop for hours though. Our rehearsals are very fun. We play games, have competitions between the patrols, and most of all make some great new friends. We also get fed by a wonderful team of parent helpers. They cook us up a storm every weekend!”

Once the group gets to the theatre it’s a different story – they are then very professional. There are four dress rehearsals and eight performances at the Hawthorn Arts Centre. “It is a lot of hard work and very tiring,” says Claudine. “But in the end, it’s all worth it to see our hard work on stage! At the theatre we have an amazing team of techies running the entire show. This team is made up of young people that still want to be involved, but maybe not so keen on going onstage. They work the stage lights, sound, staging and microphones.”

This year’s show, which opens on Friday, 9 August, is called Watch This Space: Neville we have a problem. The Scouts and Guides of Boroondara and Yarra will travel through space to save dying Planet Earth. A group of brave kids must band together, travelling to different planets in search of a solution.

An evening of laughs, entertainment and great musical theatre is promised at Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Road, Hawthorn on

Fri 9 Aug 8pm;
Sat 10 Aug 8pm;
Sun 11 Aug 3pm;
Wed 14 Aug 7pm;
Fri 16 Aug 8pm;
Sat 17 Aug 2pm and 8pm.

Tickets are available at www.camberwellshowtime.com