- Brian Donaldson
- 27 October 2006
More4, Mon 6 Nov, 9pm
It’s easy to poke fun at or get annoyed with the old, what with their doddery, drooling, deaf ways and their less than exemplary table manners. So, it will come as a major shock to the most hard-hearted anti-senior that this two-hour film about a US OAP choir called Young@Heart should have you weeping big baby buckets by its conclusion. Not that the guy behind this oldies choir isn’t having a mild dig at his pensioner singers himself; why else would sprightly fiftysomething Bob Cilman ask them to clamber out of bed in the morning to belt out numbers such as ‘Staying Alive’, ‘Road to Nowhere’, ‘Fix You’ and ‘Schizophrenia’?
As rehearsals for the choir’s Alive and Well tour grind into action, Cilman has creative problems with singers not being able to learn their lines or spot their cues. But the biggest shadow over the group is their own mortality and the fact that none of the current singers were in the original 1982 line-up says it all. And sure enough, the grim reality of their advancing years takes its toll upon the choir. But troopers that they are, they know that the show must go on and a rendition of ‘I Feel Good’ needs some creases ironed out of it. And should you feel bad about having a bubble at this documentary, you’re in tough guy company as the inmates of the local jail clearly well up as the choir perform ‘Forever Young’ in the prison grounds. Totally life-affirming.