Salad Days features a score by Julian Slade with lyrics by Dorothy Reynolds. The musical had humble beginnings in Bristol before transferring to the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre where it broke records for running for over 2,200 performances. The show is not often performed in London or New York, but remains famous thanks to Producer Cameron Mackintosh who accredits it as the reason he got into the theatre industry. A successful London fringe production helped open the show up to new audiences once again and was revived at the Riverside Studios in December 2012.
Dorothy Reynolds and Julian Slade
Theatre Royal Bristol - Opened 1 Jun 1954, closed 1 Jan 1970
Original London Production
Vaudeville Theatre - Opened 5 Aug 1954, closed 1 Jan 1970, 2283 performances
Original New York Production
Barbizon Plaza - Opened 10 Nov 1958, closed 1 Jan 1970, 80 performances
Duke of York's Theatre - Opened 1 Apr 1976, closed 1 Jan 1970, 133 performances
What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box
Jane and Timothy are in love and deciding which path to take with their lives after graduating from university. They will miss their friends and student days, but agree to think of the future (“We Said We Wouldn’t Look Back”). Jane’s parents want her to find a husband quickly, while Timothy’s parents hope he will find a job (“Find Yourself Something to Do”). They end up eloping together and agree that Timothy will take the first job he is offered.
While sitting in the park one day, Timothy and Jane are approached by a tramp pushing an old piano. He offers them £7 a week to take care of it for a month, and being the first job Timothy has been offered, they accept. The tramp begins to play the piano, and the couple find that it possesses a power to make people around it dance (“Oh, Look at Me!”).
Timothy agrees to seek a position at the Foreign Office at the request of his parents, but he soon returns to the park and the piano, now named Minnie. No one is able to resist the urge to dance when it is played, and soon they are all “Out of Breath.”
Nigel, who has long-admired Jane and is unaware that she is now married, invites her to a nightclub called the “Cleopatra.” They run into Timothy while leaving the club, and the married couple persuade Nigel that “It’s Easy to Sing.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Pleasure and Pastime becomes aware of Minnie’s effect and tries to shut it down for the public’s well-being. Jane and Timothy try to hide Minnie, but they discover that the piano has already disappeared (“We’re Looking for a Piano”). Jane acknowledges that she’s having a great adventure (“The Time of My Life”). They find the tramp again who does not seem concerned that it has gone missing. They then come across Timothy’s Uncle Ned, who is a scientist and helps them search for Minnie on his flying saucer (“The Saucer Song”). Meanwhile, Jane and Timothy’s mothers are worried about them (“We Don’t Understand Our Children”).
Jane and Timothy finally find Minnie, but their month with the piano is up, and the tramp arrives to inform them that another young couple in love must look after it, and it turns out the next couple is Nigel and his new girlfriend.
- The Things That Are Done By A Don – Company
- We Said We Wouldn’t Look Back – Jane and Timothy
- Find YOurself Something To Do – Timothy’s Father, Mother & Aunt Prue
- I Sit In the Sun – Jane
- Oh, Look At Me! – Jane & Timothy
- Hush-Hush – Uncle Clam, Fosdyke & Timothy
- Out Of Breath – Company
- Cleopatra – The Manager
- Sand In My Eyes – Asphynxia
- It’s Easy To Sing – Jane, Timothy & Nigel
- We’re Looking For a Piano – Company
- The Time Of My Life – Jane & the Tramp
- The Saucer Song – Uncle Zed, Jane & Timothy
- We Don’t Understand Our Children – Jane’s Mother & Timothy’s Mother
I saw the original in London in 1956 at the age of 14 – and I’ve been singing the songs I remember, ever since! Trouble is, at the time we could only afford to but the sheet music for ‘I sit in the Sun’. Where can I get the others?