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Posted by : RodDungate on Dec 01, 2013 - 08:40 PM books
SALAD DAYS: Julian Slade, Dorothy Reynolds
Tete a Tete Recording
Mountview Records
Information: www.tete-a-tete.org.uk

Review: Alexander Ray Edser, 01 12 13

Looking back or forwards, it’s good to feel good

Earlier this year (and at times before that) Tete a Tete revived the Slade-Reynolds SALAD DAYS. Here’s the recording of that hugely successful production. While live recordings aren’t to everyone’s taste, it certainly captures, in oodles, the liveliness of the Tete a Tete production.

The cast are excellent; but most importantly, Tete a Tete captures the 50s style – or at lest an impression of it. For the original show itself looked back with rose-tinted, gently satirical, spectacles. It looked fondly back, while exhorting us to ‘never look back’; a case of having your tea-time fancies and eating them.

Reviewing Tete a Tete in December 2012 for ReviewsGate, Timothy Ramsden considered it ‘an improbable joy, but still a source of innocent happiness.’ It may be that part of the success of the show is that, in our tougher times of steely realism, we like to look back while promising ourselves that’s the way madness lies. But stay with us it does, I remember hearing it first in the 60s and it’s remained a delight since then.

In a way, Tete a Tete encapsulates this with their 50s RP – is it authentic or sent-up? The answer is a clever fence-sitter between yes and no.

Katie Moore is terrific as Jane. Her voice is as pure and warm as the sun she likes to sit in and she exudes innocence. She is ably matched in this by Leo Miles’ Timothy.

But this is also a recording strong on ensemble. And one of the great pluses of the live recording is the real sense of characterisation brought to the larger than life characters; from the Dons to the Mums and to the uncles.

Fine playing, too, from the small ensemble, helping to recreate for us the intimate homespun quality of the live production.

Recorded at the Riverside Studios, February 2013

Production Directed by Bill Banks-Jones
Musical Director: Anthony Ingle
 
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