They are the performing pensioners who were born to entertain – and now they want to recruit an army of golden oldie wannabes to join them on stage.
Members of Memory Lane – average age 80 – have swapped their zimmer frames for theatre props as they travel around Leeds performing at care homes and day centres, singing songs from the musicals and patriotic wartime hits.
The group gathers weekly every Thursday to rehearse at St Thomas’ Church Hall in Stanningley.
In May, they will put on their next big show in Rothwell, and they are keen to get more performers on board.
Jill Robinson, a 76-year-old former dancer who choreographs the routines, said: “They are all between 75 and 85. They do their best to entertain.
“It’s very easy to sit at home and watch television and do nothing. But by coming out and doing this, it gives them a real boost. When you go to a care home and even people who have Alzheimer’s remember the songs and sing along, that’s a joy. That’s why we do it.”
Betty Pearce, 79, a grandmother of four from Stanningley, has done hundreds of performances with the group.
“It’s fun,” she said. “We might get shouted at during rehearsals but we laugh all the time. Jill is tough. She thinks we are all 17! We might maybe feel 25 when we do it, but not 17!”
Asked if she would like to try a Beyonce or Lady GaGa number at some point, she joked: “I think the most modern we have done is rock and roll!”
The group’s oldest member is Bernard Waite, 85 this year, who is known by his co-performers as “swivel hips” for his impressive moves. “I enjoy it, it keeps me fit,” he said. “I was a bit of a rocker in my day but not like they do now. I used to be a jiver, the old-fashioned type!” Call Jill on 0113 2702600 to get involved.