THE story of a group of pensioners trying to recapture their youth in You're Only Young Twice seemed to tickle the assembled audience at the Festival Theatre.

The story of the run up to Tom (Victor Spinetti) and Julia's (Carmen Silvera) wedding was a genuinely funny one, although never taking the humour past the chuckle stage into deep-chested-roar country.

The cast was top notch, although Brian Murphy's Brooksie, the delinquent motorbiking widower seemed a little too over the top at times. Film veteran Victor Spinetti was excellent as the slightly juvenile Tom and Judy Cornwell as the disapproving, sensible Rose provided a great contrast to Brooksie's drunken buffoon.

While the play was indeed enjoyable, Ron Aldridge's script felt very unchallenging. Everything fell into place when it should have done, all loose ends were tied up but it left me feeling as though I had just watched a romantic comedy on the telly, rather than an all-star production in a theatre.

Still, the production is still worth catching before the gang roar off into the sunset. Hopeless romantics will love it, and it's definitely good for a giggle or three.

Phill Tromans