Songs and Excerpts from the Original London Cast – 1954 / Music by Julian Slade and Lyrics by Dorothy Reynolds & Julian Slade
Starring: Eleanor Drew, John Warner, James Cairncross and Michael Meacham
Rate: 5 (from 1 to 10)
Review: This very British musical comedy began its life at the Bristol Old Vic Company summer season, but a producer liked what he saw and took it to the West End where it became a surprise hit; it run for more than five years and it has been revived in several occasions.
I saw one of those revivals in London in 1996 and it was fun to watch. Before seeing it on stage I had listen to the cast recording of a previous revival and I confess I didn’t cared much for the songs. But on stage the songs sounded much better and “Oh Look at Me” was even contagious. There were another trio of songs that I enjoyed, “I Sit in the Sun”, “The Time of My Life” and “Sand in My Eyes” (this one is missing from this London Cast recording).
Like I said before, this is very British and it sounds like an old operetta. The orchestrations aren’t very good or exciting. The already mentioned “I Sit in the Sun” and “The Time of My Life” have nice melodies at their heart and I still can’t resist to the silly but contagious “Oh, Look at Me!”. “It’s Easy to Sing” is another enjoyable number, “We’re Looking for a Piano” keeps the silliness going and so does “The Saucer Song”. As for the cast, Eleanor Drew has a pretty voice and James Caimcross had a good time with the funny “Cleopatra”.
I believe that with better orchestrations and a large orchestra playing it, the score might surprise us one day.