Last night we went to see Salad Days at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. This marvellous and quintessentially English musical, by Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds, is much loved for its joyous innocence and fun. During the 1950s it ran in London for three years, 2,288 performances, and held the record until Oliver came along. An attempt to take it to Broadway in 1959 failed badly, as the Americans just could not 'get it', and since then it has rarely been revived.
The present production, which is by a small company called Tête-à-Tête, sticks faithfully to the original, not attempting to update it, rework it or send it up, and the result is an evening of unalloyed sunshine and pleasure, full of sparkling songs, happy and unihibited dancing, laughter and jokes. The young and talented cast all were clearly enjoying themselves, and the audience, many of whom, like us, were revisiting their youth, responded in kind. Truly a treat.