Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Waltzing Wonders; THEATRE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Waltzing Wonders; THEATRE

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA MOUNTFORD

Ballroom

Riverside Studios, W6

WHILE the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing recently twirled the waltz and tango before a new audience, John Retallack's touching but simplistic throwback to a lost era reminds us that a whole swathe of the country's population never forgot them.

Lonely 70-somethings Audrey, Sylvia, Roy and Victor sit nervously at a tea dance, listening to the tinny strains of "Raymond on the synth".

Monologues reveal that they have all suffered recent bereavement, and that ballroom dancing defined, either literally or metaphorically, each marriage.

Sylvia and Pierre ran a dance school; Victor and Constance discovered that moves on the dance floor could lead to other sorts of moves; and Audrey feared the worst on her wedding day when she discovered that Graham had no sense of rhythm.

As the pensioners reminisce, four actors portraying their lithe younger selves shadow them, sometimes even swooping to take them for a spin. …

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