Free As Air was composer Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds’ next collaboration following the enormous success of Salad Days. Set in the mythical island of Terhou in the Channel Islands, it involved a runaway heiress who arrives on the island to flee an unwanted suitor. She is welcomed by the islanders who crown her their Queen at the island’s Coronation Ceremony and she ends up falling in love with an islander.
Free As Air went straight into London’s Savoy Theatre in June 1957 where it played for 417 performances. The London cast had the main roles performed by Gillian Lewis, Gerald Harper, John Trevor, Patricia Bredin and Josephine Tewson.
The cast recording of Free As Air has not been available for a long time and we are delighted to be releasing it on CD for the first time. As the overture was not recorded for the cast recording, we have used a piano selection of the score performed by Julian Slade as an introduction on this CD issue.
For additional bonus tracks we have chosen other Julian Slade songs written while he was at Cambridge and as resident composer for the Bristol Old Vic Company. One, Two Three, One’ was the first waltz song written by the young Julian Slade while He’s got absolutely nothing’ comes from Julian’s second Musical Lady May.
Doh Reh Me’ was originally written for the Bristol Old Vic show Christmas in King Street which was later to have its setting altered to London where it became Follow That Girl in 1960. The Comedy of Errors from which we hear Should he upbraid’, was originally written for television in 1954. Keeping with Julian’s Shakespeare compositions we have two songs (Pack clouds away’ and Hey nonny no’) from his settings of traditional songs for the Bristol Old Vic production of Two Gentlemen of Verona. To complete our bonus tracks we have Cold’s the wind’ from the Bristol Old Vic’s production of Thomas Dekker’s Elizabethan classic The Shoemaker’s Holiday
1. PIANO SELECTION from “Free As Air” – Julian Slade at the piano 6:17
2. I’M UP EARLY – Patricia Bredin 3:59
3. LET THE GRASS GROW – Roy Godfrey, Howard Goorney & Michael Aldridge 2:56
4. NOTHING BUT SEA AND SKY – Gillian Lewis 3:41
5. THE BOAT’S IN Company 1:30
6. A MAN FROM THE MAINLAND – Patricia Bredin 3:58
7. FREE AS AIR – John Trevor, Gillian Lewis 2:55
8. HER MUMMY DOESN’T LIKE ME ANY MORE – Gerald Harper 3:01
9. THE GIRL FROM LONDON – Company 4:09
10. A MAN FROM THE MAINLAND (Reprise) – Company 1:02
11. I’D LIKE TO BE LIKE YOU – John Trevor & Gillian Lewis 3:27
12. TESTUDO – Roy Godfrey, Patricia Bredin, Vincent Charles 3:10
13. I’VE GOT MY FEET ON THE GROUND – Patricia Bredin & Gerald Harper 3:44
14. HOLIDAY ISLAND – Josephine Tewson, Gillian Lewis, Gerald Harper 4:46
15. GERALDINE – Malcolm Farquhar, Len Rossiter & Raymond Parks 2:06
16. WE’RE HOLDING HANDS – Howard Goorney & Dorothy Reynolds 2:26
17. TERHOU – Patricia Bredin 3:40
18. LET THE GRASS GROW (Reprise) Company 1:01
19. ONE, TWO, THREE, ONE – Eleanor Drew & Harry Dawson 2:56
20. HE’S GOT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – Eleanor Drew 3:57
21. DOH REH ME – Eleanor Drew & James Cairncross 3:28
22. (i) SHOULD HE UPBRAID – Jane Wenham
(ii) PACK CLOUDS AWAY – Harry Dawson, James Cairncross, Eleanor Drew & John Neville
(iii) COLD’S THE WIND – Eleanor Drew, James Cairncross, John Neville & Harry Dawson
(iv) HEY NONNY NO – Eleanor Drew, James Cairncross, Harry Dawson & John Neville 6:29