Lights! Camera! Action! The Stage – October 2007 By John Thaxter

As a busy theatre entrepreneur, Simon Gross has several companies on the road at any one time, taking his musical revues and pantos to nursing homes and day centres.

But a coveted date for his young performers is a Brinsworth House matinee, the Twickenham retirement haven for variety artists who know all the words and music and recognise talent when they see it.

Three duos are touring the current show, a tuneful tribute to movie musicals featuring 30 songs and dozens of costume changes in a slick hour of entertainment, none with more audience appeal than the stage partnership of Graham Weaver and Kirsty Kober.

He, always spot on the note, is limber as Fred Astaire, a lean and sonorous scarecrow or that lonely goatherd with a superb yodel, while sweet-voiced Kirsty is a sassy Judy Garland, an infectiously joyful Julie Andrews and thoroughly modern as Millie in the Charleston.

While the pre-recorded backing track is unobtrusive it paces the programme, imposing a discipline these young players maintain with professional precision. But as well as the pizzazz, they had a special word for each and every one of their senior audience, none more charmed than Emily Perry, remembered as Dame Edna’s bridesmaid ‘Madge Allsop’, now a Brinsworth centenarian.

If I had to choose favourites, it would be hard to beat their Fred and Ginger, dancing cheek to cheek with an impressive flourish, a superb Edelweiss duet, and her cockney flower-seller cherishing all that’s “lover-ly” in a style recalling Martine McCutcheon’s stage Eliza.