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News | 23 June 2023

Trills for Life: Review of Scouts! The Musical

Chris James, Head of Brand and Ambassadors

If you think you can hear a campfire sing a long somewhere near Victoria Station, fear not; it’s not your imagination playing tricks on you. It’s the super-talented cast of this brand new musical singing their hearts out in London’s West End.

Scouts! The Musical lives up to its exuberant exclamation mark. It sizzles with an unstoppable energy, is stuffed with great tunes and, most of all, is jam-packed with terrific good humour. There are more crammed into these frothily entertaining two halves than a week at Scout camp.

The cast has earned every acting and musician badge in the book. Playing everything from drums, saxophone, harmonica and guitar (and lots more besides), they exchange instruments mid-song without missing a beat. Throw in some brilliant comic timing and truly superb vocals and it makes for a series of non-stop wow moments.

Writer, director and co-lyricist Sam Cochrane and composer/co-lyricist David Fallon have done their homework. The Scout humour is on point, without veering into mickey-taking territory, and the whole thing is done with a wide grin and a big heart.

Five musicians are stood on a stage with banners behind their heads. One banner says Skills for Life and the other has a fleur-de-lis.

Twists and turns

From the unlikeliest of premises, everything comes together to make a superb show. It’s the annual Scouts games – a test of skills for life and the elusive gold badge is up for grabs. While the Scouts are busy earning their badges, an intruder appears – intent on causing havoc (and turning ‘skills for life’ into ‘troublemakers for life’). Who will prevail, and what role does the rugged adventurer Linus Lionheart play in all this?

Highlights are many – from Linus' ode to Mother Nature, the mind-boggling The Ropes, the frenetic Trance Dance evoking the ghost of Time Warp, to the roof-blowing finale of Skills For Life. Be warned, there’s a bit of good-natured audience participation, but more in the vein of a pantomime and they treat stage guests gently.

Kemi Clarke plays the Scout leader with a light touch and a beautifully warm tone to his voice. Rob Gathercole is surely a major comic talent in the making, playing things with a Python-esque energy, somewhere between Michael Palin and Eric Idle, when he’s not hammering out Jerry Lee Lewis style piano runs.

Emily Kitchingham has a voice big enough to fill ten theatres, not to mention an impressively funky side line in bass. Sydney Spencer simply lights up the stage, opposite Joel Nash’s frenetic and perfectly judged performance, as the wide-eyed Scout.

Finally, the irrepressible Katie Pritchard can play literally everything, dance and tell jokes at the same time. If no one else showed up one night, then she surely could still carry the show alone. 

Six cast members of Scouts! The Musical are stood crouching down on the stage in their costumes smiling at the camera.
The talented Scouts! The Musical cast

Badges and banter  

However, it’s small touches that really make this show a winner. Look out for plenty of sight gags, some dad-dancing, and a particularly impressive camp blanket. With a Scouts! The Musical badge and t-shirt available in the foyer, what’s not to like?

With themes of friendship, skills and making a difference running through it all, it’s all in the true Scouts spirit.

However, there's just enough fun and mischief making to make this a delicious treat, best enjoyed with marshmallows and hot chocolate.

Get your tickets for Scouts! The Musical

Tickets for Scouts! The Musical are still available from The Palace Theatre.

What other people are saying about Scouts! The Musical

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ North West End ‘This incredible cast of musicians and actors bring this show together with boundless energy and fun’ 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Fairy Powered Productions ‘A gem of a show, a high-spirited romp full of laughs and with a heartfelt message’ 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Box Office Radio ‘An utter masterpiece in entertainment’

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Short Theatre Reviews ‘A wholesome musical that will leave you wanting to buy the CD’

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Reviews Hub ‘Scouts! The Musical is the epitome of family-friendly, feel-good fun, that can be enjoyed by all’ 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ LondonTheatre1 ‘An incredible display of actor-musicianship’

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Theatre Weekly ‘Be prepared to laugh, sing along, and feel like part of the family in this wonderfully eccentric new show’ 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Beyond The Curtain ‘A slick hour-and-a-half of toe-tapping tunes and unrestrained laughter’ 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ All That Dazzles ‘A feel-good new musical, utterly joyous and incredibly witty’ 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Broadway Baby ‘The actor-musicianship shown in this show is extraordinary‘ 

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