Review – Our House
With the turn of the millennium producing musicals such as ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘We Will Rock You’, this was certainly the time for musicals based on specific bands. One of the delights we got out of this age was ‘Our House’, the musical based on the band Madness, but this is a story very different to most musicals in that it takes a multiverse story, similar to the movie ‘Sliding Doors’, where two stories are told based on one decision in time
The audience was taken into the depth of these parallel universes Camden Road using some clever staging that was able take many forms, including a two story house and a Las Vegas hotel. At the centre of the stage are two doors that rotate to white or black, depending on the reality being displayed, and this helped stop any confusion during the night. The staging was a real work of a professional as was all of the costumes, including an Elvis suit and Joe’s quick change tracksuits and suits.
‘Our House is the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s Community Musical 2016 and more than 50 people from the local community perform during the night.
Joe Casey was played by Joe Watch and he did a brilliant job on the night, he was able to project the two different personas of Joe Casey while also keeping the whiny image that is at the centre of both sides of the character. The character of Joe Casey holds the ‘record for the most number of costume changes demanded for a lead theatrical role’ at 29 changes during some performances, including some that happen in seconds, and with only 1 costume slip Joe did a fantastic job at this part of the role.
Joe’s mates were played by Becky Smith (Sarah), Oliver Barry-Brook (Emmo), Conor Dye (Lewis), Lauren Saunders (Billie) and Hayley Sanderson (Angie). They were all great at supporting Joe, remembering that they were also performing the two parallel characters, representing the different personalities of both characters. I particularly enjoyed the funny but dumb character of Emmo who was always bound to get a laugh when he spoke.
One of the voices who boomed over the whole night was Paul Robinson who plays Joe’s Dad and every time he steps on stage your eyes are drawn to the phantom figure, guiding the audience and keeping the whole story on track.
All of the cast and band were exceptional and I felt that the dancing, acting and singing was all to a professional standard, I looked forward to each dance number as I knew to expect something special each time. But I felt the night was let down by the technology, at times the microphones were really quiet and could not be heard over the music. In a musical about parallel plots, where a single line can change the course of the night, it was a pain that some of these lines were missed by the audience and this sometimes caused confusion.
Overall I had a fantastic night and I really suggest you go and see this musical, I myself would love to see it a second time, it really is a chance to see a version of ‘Our House’ performed to a professional standard on our door steps (The Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch).
Times of Shows:
• Friday, 29 July 2016 19:30
• Saturday, 30 July 2016 14:30
• Saturday, 30 July 2016 19:30
• Sunday, 31 July 2016 14:30