William Henry Ralph Reader CBE – 25 May 1903 – 18 May 1982 (known as Ralph Reader)
Born at 12 Court Barton, Crewkerne, Ralph Reader’s start in life was not good as he lost both parents to tuberculosis by the age of 9.
At 11 years of age he moved to Denton near Newhaven to live with an aunt. Her interest in theatre inspired Ralph to become involved in song and dance.
The Boy Scout movement was quite new and Ralph joined and found his niche as the producer of the Gang Shows.
Who would have thought that this sad young boy from Somerset would grow to become an influence in theatre in both London and America!
Crewkerne & District Museum holds a good collection of Ralph Reader memorabilia, kindly sponsored by the London Gang Show Fellowship, telling Ralph Reader’s theatrical history and how the Gang Show grew over the decades.
The exhibit, in Gallery 4, is open during normal opening times during the season.