Review – Salad Days, Riverside Studios

Monday 24 January 2011

You see, the thing is, if you looked at the synopsis of Salad Days and thought, “That’s preposterous,” then ran your eye over the list of songs and thought, “Never heard of any of them,” and then picked up the fact that this revival at the Riverside Studios was staged in the traverse and that the seating was unallocated you might very well think that this was a show you could comfortably miss.

But  it turns out you would be wrong.

This ludicrous tale from 1954 set in a world of people with nice, clipped accents, pullovers, butterfly nets and perambulators jabs a well manicured finger into the brain’s charm sensors and applies a gentle pressure for the full duration to the degree that neither “a piano that makes people gay” (in the traditional sense of the word) nor flying saucers seem ridiculous topics for a musical at all.

The cast is utterly charming, the singing quite lovely, the comedy delightful and it looks absolutely gorgeous: the costumes are spot on (and look out for the Alpine frock in Act 2 during the scene at Gusset Creations) and it even looks like the poster with its grassy stage and its huge banana yellow drapes cladding every wall of the enormous Studio 2.

Without wanting to give too much away there is even some audience participation and a singalong.

Be prepared: it is 100 per cent froth. There is not a moment of insight or depth and yet was that a tear of, of, of joy in the corner of a certain Whinger’s eye at the end? Having seen it it’s not surprising that the original production ran for 2,283 performances, a record beaten only when Oliver! came along.

“I’ve no idea what’s going on but I’m crazy to join in,” says one of the characters as she tried to catch up with the plot so far. We knew just how she felt.


Rating score 5-5 our cups overfloweth


8 Responses to “Review – Salad Days, Riverside Studios”

  1. Paul Thurtle Says:

    This production of ‘Salad Days’ is up there with La Cage and the all male Iolanthe!
    It really is a show that does not put a foot wrong. We saw it on Saturday afternoon (sitting at Cafe table A): my Aunty was invited to dance. We went again on Sunday and sat in front row opposite the tables – this time I was invited to dance (which I did – gladly!)
    It really is the most perfect show: catchy (short) songs which are beautifully sung. The cast give their all; the dancing and acting is superb! The diction perfect: ‘Don’t look beck’!
    A real blast of bright sunshine in a bleak midwinter!
    We have booked for a third time for Wednesday 2nd February (Cafe table C).
    Look at me I’m dancing! (hopefully)!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by WestEndWhingers, Hannah May. Hannah May said: @Sam_Harrison_ Look! The @WestEndWhingers liked Salad Days. You've totally made it!” […]

  3. Soliloquy Says:

    Totally agee. Salad Days is delightful.

  4. Alison Porter Says:

    Hoorah! Hoorah!
    I saw this last week and nearly passed out, I laughed so much. And I danced.

  5. […] now – there were no more than ten seats left the day I went and given it’s five glasses rave by the Whingers I expect they should all be filled going […]

  6. Richard Coats Says:

    Saw it a couple of weeks ago, had no pre-knowledge of the plot twists, so was jaw droppingly gobsmacked – what were they thinking! Great fun though

  7. […] only disagree on a small point with the West End Whingers review. A duet between the two mothers in Act II (We Don’t Understand Our Children), if not exactly […]

  8. […] West End Whingers review Salad Days ★★★★★, 'The cast is utterly charming, the singing quit…link to review   all bestplay   go to message board    share on twitter   in london-awards Jan 25 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: