He fell for it as a boy on holiday in London – and American author Ethan Mordden is still obsessed by this whimsical show. Why? ‘It’s a lesson in being openly what you are’

My parents took me to Europe for the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958 and on the way home to America we stopped in London. As we were staying in a hotel on the Strand, we kept driving past the Vaudeville theatre, where I was thrilled to see the musical Salad Days was still playing.

Written by Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds, Salad Days had been an obsession of mine ever since I heard the cast album, which my Aunt Agnes had brought back on her last London trip. The songs were a little fanciful, but the music was very attractive. I was especially fond of a ballad for the lead couple, Timothy and Jane, who were just leaving university: We Said We Wouldn’t Look Back.

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