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Title:RAF GANG SHOW ON AKYAB ISLAND, BURMA [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ABY 67
Other titles:ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Scenes from an RAF Gang Show performance on Akyab Island (now Sittwe, Burma).
Description: Two Chevrolet 1.5-ton lorries drive past camera with airmen on the running boards. At Maunghnama airfield a lorry reverses up to a Douglas Dakota transport aircraft and its cargo is transferred to the aeroplane. A number of wicker baskets are marked 'RAF Gang Show'. Other boxes, crates etc are loaded onto the aircraft. Internal shot of 'gang show blokes' (from the dopesheet) aboard the Dakota. Airmen alighting from Dakota at dispersal at Akyab. The aircraft is unloaded and the stores carried away. A number of airmen playing musical instruments including accordion, ukulele (being played here by a young Peter Sellers), saxophone and violin. A comic study of a fiddler and ukulele player playing their instruments as they walk away from the plane. Men getting dressed. Song and dance routine on simple stage built mostly from corrugated iron. Band playing saxophone, clarinet, accordion and violin. Shots of men watching the show, and clapping in time to the music. Men applauding. Excerpts from the performance. Men in drag with shopping bags, one clutching an over-sized prop fish. Stage backdrop shows a map with 'Gang Show' written over. (This was "Gang Show No 10.) Further views of Peter Sellers among the performers. Men in false beards and dark [possibly policemen's?] jackets stage a comic punch-up. Charlie Chaplin impersonator in black coat and bowler hat playing an accordion. Sketch involving two old men and an old woman. Fairy godmother and man in Elizabethan/Jacobean costume who engages in a certain amount of comedy groping. Towards the end, a poster can briefly be seen on the front of the stage, naming the performers and billing them as "The Bright and Breezy Boys". The gang show troupe's Flight Sergeant is greeted on the Akyab airstrip by the Group Welfare Officer before both get into a jeep. A single North American Harvard and a Republic Thunderbolt aircraft (possibly of RAF 30 Squadron) can be seen in the background.
Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor)
Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company)
Towler, D (Pilot Officer) (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Air Force (regiment/service)
Sellers, Peter (person)
Keywords: Akyab, Burma (geography)
Third Arakan Campaign 1944-1945, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event)
Welfare and recreational activities and services, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event)
Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme)
Far East 1939-1945 (theme)
Burma 1942-1945 (theme)