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Salad Days

Another post that will only be of any use for people in London (sorry, we will do something a bit closer to home soon) and before Jan 11 when the show  closes; howeevr, if  you are in London and able to go, Salad Days at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, is an absolute must! The blurb says ‘A sure-fire cure for your winter blues’ and how right they are.

Eight of us went after the family wedding mentioned before, and it ended a wonderfully happy day on a truly magical note. Everyone, and not just us, came out of the theatre with smiles on their faces and their feet tapping. I would have loved to have sat through the whole performance again.

The atmosphere is set as you enter. The entire cast is amassed at the door, in academic garb. The ‘chancellor’ solemnly hands everyone their degree scroll impressively rolled up and tied with red ribbon and congratulates them on their tremendous academic achievement… Then they all rather surprisingly break into dance and the fun starts.

Salad Days was written in 1954 but seemed to hark back to the 1930s and the era of the Charleston although there was a bit of rock and roll and jive. The theme however was very topical – it is all about a young couple, freshly graduated from university but unsure of what lies ahead. You even have the two mothers singing rather plaintively that they don’t understand their children.

The singing and dancing and comedy is superb. The audience sits facing each other across the stage in the middle. It is all very relaxed and intimate, with no sound system but the strong voices carried perfectly. Most of the cast are very young and freshly out of music or drama school but I feel sure they will go far.

I would simply love to find an excuse to go down to London, snow permitting, to see it again before January 11th, unless of course one of the big theatres takes it up.

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