BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

28 October 2014
london

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
London
Things to do
People & Places
Nature
History
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near London

Beds Herts Bucks
Berkshire
Essex
Kent
Southern Counties

Related BBC Sites

England
 

Contact Us

spacer
First night - 18.03.03
Our House poster
Our House is a fully plot-driven musical with a social conscience that functions as a modern morality tale
spacer

With Suggs himself in the cast for a week, our critic Mark Shenton revisits the Madness musical and finds a show exploding in kinetic energy...

 

spacer
SEE ALSO
spacer

theatre index

more reviews

latest theatre news

shows you shouldn't miss

spacer
LINKS
 
Our House
(The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites)
 
 

Our House (Cambridge Theatre)
Next to the 132 hit songs of Cliff Richard, the 24 top 20 singles of Madness are small potatoes.

video "We've thought about a musical for a long time, yes..." says Suggs of Madness to our Entertainment correspondent Brenda Emmanus. See more and watch extracts from Our House: click here (3,694Kb/ 02'12") Real Player required

But after the grim experience of hearing a massive chunk of Cliff's back catalogue raided for the dire tribute show Cliff - the Musical, the magic that playwright Tim Firth has worked on creating an original musical out of the Madness songs, and the dazzling showmanship and craft of a galvanising production by Matthew Warchus, is all the more apparent.

"Though the intervention of a big personality in a small role threatens to unbalance a real ensemble show, Suggs acquits himself well..."

When it first opened at the Cambridge Theatre last October, it didn't entirely work, though there was also no doubting that this was an extremely ambitious show.

Seeking not only to fold some well-known pop songs into a new story, as opposed to simply doing a tribute-band style revue, Our House is also a fully plot-driven musical with a social conscience that functions as a modern morality tale.

kinetic energy

There are in fact two parallel plots for the lead character, Joe (the excellent newcomer Michael Jibson), to follow - and to demonstrate how one fateful decision could lead his life into two totally different directions.

Suggs
Suggs is himself playing the role of the father for a week only (to March 22)

It's the film Sliding Doors meets the British musical Blood Brothers in which, on a 16th birthday date with his girlfriend Sarah, Joe breaks into a building site - and when the police arrive, Good Joe decides to face the music (and begins a life of punishments) while Bad Joe does a runner - and begins a life of crime, following in the footsteps of his late father, who also functions as the show's narrator-like figure.

Madness singer/songwriter Suggs is himself playing the role of the father for a week only (to March 22), and though the intervention of a big personality in a small role threatens to unbalance a real ensemble show, he acquits himself well.

Now also far brisker in pace and mood than when it first opened, seeing the show again reveals the wittiest choreography in town and a stage exploding in kinetic energy.

Our House is at the Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street WC2, booking until 27 September. Tickets £12.50 - £40. Box Office: 020 7494 5399

  spacer  
E-mail BBC London
yourlondon@bbc.co.uk
spacer
  Make this my homepageMake this my Homepage
  LONDON NEWS  
More Violent clashes at carnival finale
More Police stop-and-search code launched
More Rail commuters faced severe delays
  BBC London News
VideoView with Realplayer
 
  BBC London 94.9fm  
  Listen to 94.9fm live! Listen live
Latest Travel and News
Latest travel and news
 
  LONDON HISTORY  
  Local history including Nelson, Greenwich and the famous Crystal Palace  
  AERIAL PHOTOS  
  Tower of LondonClick through amazing shots of London from high up in a helicopter!  
  WALKS  
 

Take a Thames Tour of Rotherhithe including the home of London's whaling and timber trades

  WEATHER  
 

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

  VIRTUAL TOURS  
  Over 100 panoramic views of London including Tower Bridge, Docklands and inside Concorde  


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy