Thursday 18 April 2013
Our next Production: Salad Days
Our Autumn 2013 Production will be the effervescent Salad Days, by Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds.
Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds wrote Salad Days as a "summer musical for the Bristol Old Vic's resident company", taking their title from a quote from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra: "My salad days, When I was green in judgement...". It opened in June 1954 at the Theatre Royal, Bristol, and proved so popular it moved to the Vaudeville Theatre, London, where it run for over 5 years. At the time it was the longest running musical in the history of the British Theatre. Containing all the optimism of the 50’s and some of its quirkier aspects, including the appearance of a topical flying saucer, the show bubbles with fun, song and dance and quick-fire humour.
Jane and Timothy are friends who meet up after graduation to plan their lives. Not sure what to do next and also not sure if they are actually in love, but hopeful that they will be, they decide to get married in secret. Jane’s parents are desperate for her to marry someone suitable and Timothy’s parents want him to ask each of his four influential uncles for a job. But Jane and Timothy decide that having solved the marriage question, Timothy should solve the job one by taking the first offer to come along. Fate can’t resist an opportunity and a passing tramp offers them £7 a week to look after his piano for a month while he has a holiday, but the piano has a secret - when it is played it gives everyone within earshot an irresistible desire to dance! They christen the piano ‘Minnie’, but the inappropriately named ‘Minister of Pleasure and Pastime’ tries to ban the disruptive music, which even has policemen and bishops dancing. When Jane and Timothy decide to hide Minnie, they discover that the piano has vanished. Rather unexpectedly, Timothy’s scientist uncle Zed turns up in a Flying Saucer and they enlist his help to try and find it.
The Tramp reappears and Jane and Timothy discover he is actually Timothy’s fifth uncle, the one the family never mentions. So Timothy has received help from an uncle after all, and not in the way his parents would have approved of! Their month of looking after the piano is up, the piano passes to another young couple, and Jane and Timothy optimistically look forward to a life of happiness together.
We will be performing Salad Days from 9th - 12th October at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin. If you would like to take part, learn more about the production or enquire about booking please contact us.
Original artork © Sue Wookey