Salad Days, Belgrade Theatre, Sept 19 -22.
Salad Days, written in 1954 by Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds, is a musical homage to a simpler time in the days before computers, mobile phones and the many other technological revolutions that have reshaped our world in the last 64 years.
The play opens with an energetic graduation ceremony taking place, and it is not long before we are introduced to the main characters Timothy (Mark Anderson) and Jane (Jessica Croll). Both characters are harangued by their respective parents regarding their future careers and prospective suitors for marriage and decide that the best way to avoid all of this is to marry each other.
Add to this, a mystical and magical piano called Minnie which, when played, causes people to instantly launch into bursts of exuberant dancing, and you have the main storyline of the play.
Wendi Peters of Coronation Street fame (Cilla Battersby Brown) shines as Lady Raeburn and there are numerous comedic moments including a rather agile dancing policeman, Boot (Nathan Elwick). At one point we are even treated to a somewhat bizarre moment involving a 'space ship' and one of Timothy's many uncles.
Jane certainly hits the high notes and with lively songs and frenetic dancing choreographed by Joanne McShane. The play rolls along quite happily albeit, a little dated for today's audiences. After all, the world has changed a great deal since 1954.