salad days

14 Sep

SALAD DAYS ****
BY Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds
At the Richmond Theatre

‘SUMMER AND SUNSHINE AND FALLING IN LOVE’
Just one of Julian Slade’s beautiful tunes with the Springtime lyrics of Dorothy Reynolds.
This is a completely bonkers show just a lot of crazy incidents, review numbers to fit in with the gorgeous songs – which are amazing – and dare I say refreshing,- in this Rocking and Rapping age.
A short reference to Teddy Boys but, apart from this, the second half of the twentieth century needn’t have happened. It is so set in the innocent and hopeful fifties pre Beatles era and before the sexual revolution. When the word ‘Gay’ meant a kind of insouciant happiness and if homosexuality existed it wasn’t ever talked about. Most people were normal and others were.. queer.
The semblance to a plot is the friendship between Timothy and Jane – two recent graduates from University worrying that they might have already had all the good times they were ever going to have. ‘When we are gone who will give all the parties?’ ‘There won’t BE any parties.’
Life as they knew it, was over. Jane would marry Lord Nigel, Timothy would go into his family business. Bravely they sang ‘We said we wouldn’t look back’. A tear inducing tune and lyric.
It is later on when they are having simply super adventures with a magic piano (yes magic, the piano ‘the one that makes you dance’)
Suddenly, Timothy acquired a piano lent to him by a tramp who offered him seven pounds a week to take care of it. It was surprising to find that it was a magic piano (yes, magic the one that makes you dance}. Now as they see all the staid and self satisfied people throwing their legs in the air, they realise that this is the Time of Their Life.
There are some lovely performances, Wendi Peters and Valerie Cutco Play the mothers of the children as well as several other roles, hairdressers, Dons, Aunts, Employers etc . And of course all dancing along with all the rest .Mark Anderson and Jessica Cross play the young ones and Maeve Byrne is especially

The semblance to a plot is the friendship between Timothy and Jane – two recent graduates from University worrying that they might have already had all the good times they were ever going to have. ‘When we are gone who will give all the parties?’ ‘There won’t BE any parties.’
Life as they knew it, was over. Jane would marry Lord Nigel, Timothy would go into his family business. Bravely they sang ‘We said we wouldn’t look back’. A tear inducing tune and lyric.

Suddenly, Timothy acquires a piano lent to him by a tramp who offers him seven pounds a week to take care of it. It is surprising to find that it is a magic piano (yes, magic the one that makes you dance}. Now as they see all the staid and self satisfied people throwing their legs in the air, they realise that this is the Time of Their Life.
There are some lovely performances, Wendi Peters and Valerie Cutco Play the mothers of the children as well as several other roles, hairdressers, Dons, Aunts, Employers etc . And of course all dancing along with all the rest .Mark Anderson and Jessica Cross play the young ones and Maeve Byrne is especially funny as Asphynxia – ion a sort of Night Club scene I think. Not sure. Of course , there is a comic policeman and a non speaking mime called Troppo (Callum Evans)
The musical director and Tramp are Dan Smith and he plays piano throughout with Andrew Richards on Bass and Joe Pickering on drums. Direction is by Bryan Hodgson and splendid loony choreography by Joanne McShane.
It is good, clean crazy fun of the kind we don’t get nowadays. Settings change by simple tracer lighting effects by Tim Deiling on Mike Lees’s magical setting.
It’s a lovely change and It is a rare treat. We come out smiling.

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