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What they thought of Julian’s Shows

A few views from past critics:

‘LADY MAY’ (1951)
‘Mr Slade has high spirits, a gay invention and a debonair way with words’ – The Times

‘Clever, satirical writing and the dialogue, as we have come to expect from Mr Slade, is witty and caustic……… There are some witty lyrics, and some melodies are very catchy’ – Cambridge Daily News

‘The music is gay, the words are witty, and whole thing just romps along. It is in the main, kindly but, like Eeyore the nursery donkey it has a back kick.’ Simon Raven, The Cambridge Review

‘The thunder of applause followed us down the street.’ – Varsity

duenna2‘THE DUENNA’ (1954)
‘A jolly and jaunty new score’ – News Chronicle

‘Tuneful in the modern way ….the whole thing goes with a swing, much helped by Sheridan’s wit and the charm of its songs ‘ – The Times

‘Sheridan’s wit has lost none of its sparkle but what distinguishes it considerably is the new music specially written by Julian Slade’- The Sphere

‘A most tasty confection’- London Evening Standard

‘THE COMEDY OF ERRORS’ (1954)
‘ The Salad man does it again’- Daily Express

‘Julian Slade has written some very attractive music for this delightful version of one of Shakespeare’s lesser plays.’ – Sunday Times

trelawny1‘TRELAWNY’ (1972)
‘Julian Slade has written some tuneful, rousing numbers for a lively cast to sing and dance ……. A bright, appealing well staged musical. It deserves to run’ – Daily Mirror

‘Superbly suited for musical treatment….. Julian Slade’s music is quite wide in range, expanding grandly on occasions…. but most effective of all in social and punchy recitative.’ – Financial Times

‘It’s a long time since I have enjoyed a musical as much as this’-London Evening News

‘A sure-fire winner’ Sunday Telegraph. ‘A superb musical….a miracle’ J.C. Trewin.

nutmeg&ginger1‘NUTMEG AND GINGER’ (1963 and 1991)
‘As jolly a jape as has come our way for many a long moon – The Stage 1991

‘The audience loved it’ – Sunday Times 1991

‘A rare gem by our Mr Music’ – Bristol Evening Post 1991

‘THE MERRY GENTLEMEN’ (1953 and 1970)
Jolly, carefree and wholly likeable. Mr Slade’s score has beguiling tunefulness. A show likely to keep the theatre very busy’’ – Bristol Evening Post 1970

What they think of Julian’s Shows

Two views from the theatre:
Sir Cameron Mackintosh

cameron_mackintosh_100“On the face of it, Julian Slade wrote for a different age but though he seemed to be of the establishment, he was in fact waspishly anarchic in his treatment of authority and accepted behaviour. He just preferred wit to swear words as his style.

The best of Julian’s music remains as fresh, tuneful and appealing today as when he wrote it. Though some of the plots he served may not strike a chord with modern audiences, shows like ‘Trelawny’, based on Pinero’s ‘Trelawny of the Wells’, with its themes of breaking down old-fashioned prejudice and giving fresh ideas a chance, are still timely, and has probably his strongest dramatic score. That show’s leading lady Rose Trelawny appealed to Julian’s own belief in helping new talent. For the same reason he was attracted to Becky Sharp as she determinedly made her own way in life in ‘Vanity Fair’ – a show with a haunting title song. Another Pinero play inspired ‘Out of Bounds’ and contains several terrifically enjoyable songs – it was surprisingly only ever seen once at Bristol.

Above all, Julian loved the theatre and several of his shows he wrote for the Bristol Old Vic like ‘The Merry Gentleman’ and ‘The Comedy of Errors’ contain gems that still have a timeless appeal as “the lilt of the melody carries you away”. To mark the 50th anniversary of Salad Days, I had the pleasure of putting together a tribute to Julian’s work, “The Time of My Life” – it reminded even me, an old friend, how much he had written and how unique his talent was. Julian had many more ingredients up his sleeve than he showed in his “Salad Days”.”


timothye_west_150Timothy West

“I was lucky enough to be in ‘Trelawny’ – one of Julian’s best scores I think – at Bristol’s Theatre Royal, scenes of the delightful shows he and Dorothy Reynolds put together every Christmas in the Fifties. Whimsy perhaps but always tuneful and charming .”