Wow! What can I say? Our House at Wakefield Theatre Royal blew me away tonight.
It is fair to say Our House exceeded my expectations with a brilliant twisty storyline and cleverly interwoven songs and a moving story about choices. From the very beginning the story drew the audience in to the lives of a family living at 25 Casey street ‘our house’. Then leading us down two different we followed the ups and downs of Joe Casey’s life. Which choices will he make? The right ones or the wrong ones? What will the consequences be for Joe?
It took a while for me to understand quite what was going on and my friend commented during the break that she wasn’t sure which was the ‘correct’ story. I am fairly certain this was deliberate because I was hooked through to the very end! Clever scenery and costume changes (how did they do that?) added great visuals alongside the energetic dancing. Well done Louise Denison for matching the songs with fantastic choreography!
If you hadn’t already guessed, Our House incorporates the songs from 80s band Madness from Camden in London. Although I am a big fan of Madness, I’m not a big fan of musicals that are created around songs. Our House is cleverly put together and I particularly loved the mash-ups of songs that occurred in various places. The songs of Madness are infectious, sometimes upbeat and at other times sad. Most of all it is hard not to love their songs!
From the beginning the ‘boys’ Joe, Emmo and Lewis (aka Ethan, Joseph and Adam) had the audience in fits of laughter with their comical characters. Furthermore it all seemed very natural which shows the quality of their acting ability. The two girl friends of Sarah, Angie and Billie (aka Sophie and Emma) were incredible and totally in sync!Joe, played by Ethan, has such a natural presence on stage and his ability to change character is fantastic. I loved listening to Sarah (aka Charlotte) sing she has a beautiful, clear voice. As with the best musicals Our House takes you on a journey and reminded me of the emotional rollercoaster of Blood Brothers. If the acting is good it will fill you will joy and fill you with sadness consequently it did both.
Finally the cast can be commended for their continued energy throughout the show. It was obvious they loved every single minute of performing Our House and that always transfers across to an audience. Full of well known Madness songs like: Our House, My Girl, Baggy Trousers, House of Fun and It Must Be Love. Not forgetting Driving in My Car with an interesting addition! Finally I need to add that the show has quite a few sexual references and therefore not entirely suitable for younger children.
Overall it was funny, lively and intriguing and gripped me until the very end. Well done to youth theatre on probably one of the best shows I have seen for a while! On until the 9th of September book here and don’t miss out