Rehearsals are underway for the world premiere of Glenn Chandler’s The Good Scout, the first-ever play written about the Hitler Youth and Boy Scouts exchange in the 1930s. Sneak a peek inside rehearsals as the cast prepare for Edinburgh Fringe. Time to get booking!
The Good Scout, written and directed by Glenn Chandler for Boys of the Empire Productions, will run in Edinburgh at theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall from 2 to 24 August 2019, with London previews at Above the Stag Theatre on 26 and 27 July.
In the 1930s, Lord Baden-Powell and Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler’s London ambassador, instigated exchange visits between British boy scouts and Hitler Youth, in the expectation that they would influence one another.
In Bassington, England, the local troop play host to a cycling party of Hitlerjugend – but are the German boys cyclists or ‘spyclists’? For Will and Jacob, two Rover Scouts on the cusp of manhood, it is a visit that will change their lives forever. As war looms, a heart-wrenching, darkly humorous drama about espionage, a scout’s honour and forbidden love unfolds.
This timely story, exploring a secret corner of British pre-war history, comes as fascism is again on the rise in Europe. In 1937, Hitler Youth were invited to various parts of the UK with their bicycles and cameras. MI5, alarmed by Baden-Powell’s reverence of Hitler, had them watched. In Tamworth, Staffordshire, the half-German scoutmaster saw himself as a local Commandant and was eventually imprisoned as a threat to the nation.
Glenn Chandler came across the story of the Hitler Youth visits by chance and thought it too good to pass up. The Good Scout is the first-ever play based on this astonishing historical record. It stars Charlie Mackay, Amanda Bailey, Lewis Allcock, Clement Charles, and young German actors Clemente Lohr and Simon Stache.
The Good Scout is the latest Edfringe show from Boys of the Empire Productions, following Sandel (2013), Lord Dismiss Us (2017) and Kids Play (2018), which won the Broadway Baby Bobby Award for Best Play on the Fringe. All subsequently transferred to London. To TV fans, Glenn Chandler is best known for Taggart which still holds the record as the longest-running TV detective series in the world (28 years). He gave up television to return to theatre a decade ago.
Following London previews at Above the Stag Theatre on 26 and 27 July, The Good Scout runs from 2 to 24 August 2019, at theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DW, with performances (80 minutes) at 8.20pm. Tickets are priced £10-12. Click here to purchase!