Airs on a Shoestring

revue show

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  1. On 30th April 2016 at 3:13 p.m., duettists noted:

    Laurier Lister presented abrasive reviews in the 1950s. Pamela Davies, wrote in her book, “Do You Remember Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth?”

    ‘Then in 1953 came the satirical revue “Airs on a Shoestring” at the Royal Court Theatre. One number, “Sing High, Sing Low” featured a couple, he in tails plus white gloves and a gardenia, she, a blonde with upswept hair, enormous dangling earrings and a pink crinoline smothered in roses. No guesswork needed here. Now it is true that Anne and Webster had sung duet versions not only of Strauss waltzes, but also of popular classics, like Liszt’s “Liebestraum” and the Chopin Etude for piano, known as Tristesse or “So Deep is the Night”. When the couple on stage announced they would sing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto – they didn’t say which one – “arranged as a duet”, the audience fell about.

    The “romantic duettists” then proceeded with their duet, accompanied by kisses, embraces, elaborate gestures, and on the final chord, “We detest each other!” The critics approved, finding it had “terrific bite”, concerning as it did romantic duettists, no longer young, who sang rubbish and perversions of the classics “just for the dough”. No doubt Anne and Webster heard of the sketch, maybe laughed over it, or were even flattered by it. After all, one has to be pretty prominent to evoke satire, and Margaret Thatcher enjoyed “Anyone for Denis?”‘

    Extract from “Do You Remember Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth?” by Pamela Davies. Available at:

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