Direct from Sasha Regan’s award-winning Union Theatre, Salad Days is bound for Bath as Julian Slade’s joyous, feel-good musical plays the Theatre Royal for the first time in twenty years. Appearing from Tuesday 12th to Saturday 16th September, this delightfully optimistic hit show featuring a fifteen-strong cast of talented performers is the perfect antidote for those who aren’t quite ready to embrace autumn yet.
It’s the sunny summer of 1954 and Timothy and Jane, who have just graduated from university, find themselves under pressure from their parents to find a job and a husband respectively. Timothy’s family send him off to meet a series of influential and increasingly eccentric uncles, while Jane’s mother lines up a string of eligible but dull potential husbands.
When a passing tramp offers to pay the pair to look after his mobile piano in a park for a month, they jump at the chance, but soon discover that when the piano plays it gives everyone within earshot an irresistible and unstoppable urge to dance. Little are they prepared to deal with the choreographic hilarity, magic and madness that ensues!
Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds’ timeless musical sets out to put a smile on your face and a tap in your toes with its energetic and peppy score featuring songs such as We Said We Wouldn’t Look Back, We’re Looking For A Piano and Look At Me, I’m Dancing.
The show received its world premiere at Bristol Old Vic in 1954, followed by a record-breaking West End run of more than 2,200 performances and an ongoing reputation as one of the best loved musicals of all time.
Sixty-three years after its first London production, Salad Days enjoyed a successful run in the capital this summer at the Union Theatre and now visits Bath exclusively, directed by Bryan Hodgson with choreography by Joanne McShane and musical direction by Elliot Styche.
Salad Days is produced by Sasha Regan, Artistic Director of the Union Theatre in Southwark and winner of the Special Achievement Award at the Off West End Awards 2017 for her contribution to musical theatre. The show is co-produced by Ben Dewynter who, together with Sasha Regan, has brought hugely praised all-male productions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore and The Mikado to the Theatre Royal Bath in recent years.
Leading the cast of Salad Days as the young graduates Jane and Timothy, are Lowri Hamer and Laurie Denman, who made their own professional debuts in this production in London having recently graduated from Guildford School of Acting. Tom Self plays The Tramp with Tom Norman as PC Boot and Jacob Seickell as Troppo. They are joined by Maeve Byrne as Asphynxia, Marguerite, Assistant and Electrode; Darrie Gardner as Timothy’s Mother and Don; James Gulliford as The Bishop and Nigel; Lewis McBean as Tom Smith and Ambrose; Sophie Millett as Lady Raeburn, Aunt Prue and Don; Karl Moffatt as Timothy’s Father, Don, Uncle Zed, Sir Clamsby Williams and Augustine Williams; Stephen Patrick as The Inspector, Manager and Don; Emma Lloyd as Rowena and Slave Girl; Ashlee Young as Anthea, Manicurist and Slave Girl; and Francesca Pim as Fiona and Helouise.
Julian Slade began his career as a director and musical composer with the Bristol Old Vic Company in 1952, after studying at Bristol’s Theatre School. Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds wrote Salad Days in Bristol incorporating topical jokes about the plays performed in The Old Vic seasons. The title for the musical came from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and Cleopatra’s line “my salad days, when I was young and green”. As author Shirley Brown explains in her book Bristol Old Vic Theatre School: The First 50 Years: “Salad Days has proved enduringly popular, and the BOV Theatre School has paid an ongoing tribute to it with anniversary productions in 1984, 1989 and 1994.” Brown continues, “The show’s wonderful present to the Theatre School amounted to £7,000, which, together with a grant from the Dulverton Trust, provided sufficient funds for the two Victorian villas on the corner of Downside Road to be purchased – for £6,000 – and then converted, which cost another £12,000.”
Salad Days appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Tuesday 12th to Saturday 16th September. Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 and online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk