Stepping out with Barry and Joan (and Audrey)

Stepping out with Barry and Joan (and Audrey)

The feature doc Barry and Joan, produced and directed by US/UK Audrey Rumsby and starring the all-singing, all-dancing nonagenarians of the title, may have been finished too late for EFM consideration, but Rumsby has nevertheless hotfooted it to DocSalon to pitch it to interested parties.


As the director puts it, he was an incurable performer who loved to cross-dress. She was a dancing piano genius. She spotted his legs when they met in a musical. Seventy-five years later, they are still married, performing, and teaching.


A dancer herself, Rumsby tells how she was the youngest student to be accepted on to the post-graduate programme at the prestigious London Academy of Dramatic Arts. After she graduated she was sent to meet “specialists in movement.”


“I was connected with these two people,” says Rumsby. “And I had never thought that I could be transformed at such a young age (she was 18) by people who were 70 years my senior. We became incredibly close. I loved their story, they were just about the most inspiring thing I had ever seen. That and their level of skill, they are just masters of what they do, which is eccentric dance movement, ballet. At their age that is a wonderful thing to see.”


Rumsby describes her film as an 87-minute feel-good arthouse movie and is looking for sales opportunities/representation in Berlin. 


“We believe that the BBC or PBS would be a good fit for this documentary,” she adds. “A festival screening would be a fabulous bonus but it is not integral to the future of the film. It’s more for an audience at home to watch, real everyday people, that’s who it is geared towards.”