Our House’s original production won the Olivier Award For Best New Musical in 2003. It ran for 10 months at the Cambridge Theatre and was directed by Matthew Warchus. The musical was revived for a UK tour in 2008, a one-off charity show in 2012 at the Savoy Theatre in London and this latest production whihc will tour the UK. which opened at the Birmingham Rep, also directed by Warchus.
OUR HOUSE will tour again in 2017.
Written by Tim
- Music by MADNESS
Directed by James Tobias
Choreography by Fabian Aloise
Musical Direction by Mark Crossland
Produced by Immersion Theatre & Damian tracey Productions
More details to follow...
Starring Linda Nolan as Kath Casey
More cast details to follow
OUR HOUSE once again in London, this time at the Union Theatre.
Written by Tim
- Music by MADNESS
Directed by Michael Burgen
Choreography by William Whelton
Musical Direction by Richard Baker
Produced by Sasha Regan
The cast includes:
Steven France - Joe Casey
Ailsa Davidson - Sarah
Dominic Brewer - Joe’s Dad
Sally Samad - Kath Casey
Joseph Giacone - Emmo
Joe Ashman - Lewis
Claire Learie - Billie
Chanice Alexander-Burnett - Angie
Rhys Owen - Mr. Pressman
Jay Osborne - Reecey
Ensemble includes: Joanna Bird, Alice Baker, Rachel Capp, Lauren Dinse, Reece Kerridge, Paul Flannigan and Zachary Worrall.
Photo credit: Darren Bell
Mark Shenton tweeted – “Just made a welcome return visit to @TheUnionTheatre's OUR HOUSE after only seeing 1st half last night! And definitely worth seeing it all!”
The mostly young company at @TheUnionTheatre's make OUR HOUSE their own with infectious high spirits & charm. A real winner; sold out, too!
The Madness classics have a mad, restless energy, released in a ragged rock 'n' roll treatment in OUR HOUSE of spontaneity & exhilaration.
OUR HOUSE is the most audacious & clever of jukebox shows; a layered story of different life choices, cleverly enfolded in a great pop score.
OUR HOUSE once agains tours the UK, with a new production by New Wolsey Theatre. Directed by Peter Rowe, the Madness Musical visits theatres from September through to November 2013. See the WHAT'S ON page for more information.
Written by Tim
- Music by MADNESS
- Directed by Peter Rowe
- Choreographed by Francesca Jaynes
Musical Direction by Dai Watts
- Set and costume design by Mark Walters
Lighting Design by Ben Cracknell,
Sound Design by Simon Deacon
Video design by Will Dukes and Mike Higgs
Casting is by Debbie O'Brien
" Our House is the best but also one of the most underrated of the bunch (Musicals), despite winning the 2003 Olivier Award for Best Musical. "
Alexis Gerred - Joe Casey
Daniella Bowen - Sarah
Sean Needham - Joe's Dad
Rebecca Bainbridge - Kath Casey
Alex Spinney - Lewis
James Haggie - Emmo
Dominique Planter - Angie
Lloyd Gorman - Reecey
Steve Dorsett - Mr Pressman
It will also feature Edward Handoll, Dan McGowan, Sophie Byrne and Nicole Bryan, with additional musicians Joey Hickman, Al Twist and Adam Longstaff.
OUR HOUSE was staged once again for a special celebrity performance at the Savoy Theatre in London's West End on Sunday 11th November 2012. All profits from the show were donated to the Help The Heroes charity.
Casting for the special one-off OUR HOUSE – the Musical in Concert included Alistair McGowan, EastEnders’ Tameka Empson and former Coronation Street star Wendi Peters are announced to join Madness frontman, Suggs in the 10th anniversary concert of the musical OUR HOUSE at the Savoy Theatre in aid of Help for Heroes on Sunday 11th November 2012.
In 2008 a new production in association with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company and with the same creative team, toured the UK.
Written by Tim
- Music by MADNESS
- Directed by Matthew Warchus
- Choreographed by Peter Darling
- Olivier Award for Best New Musical
- The Hilton Award For Best Musical
Our House is the story of Joe Casey who, on the night of his sixteenth birthday, takes Sarah, the girl of his dreams, out on their first date. In an effort to impress her with bravado, he breaks into a building site overlooking his home on Casey Street, which is owned by Mister Pressman, a high-end property developer. The police turn up, at which point Joe’s life splits into two: the Good Joe, who stays to help, and Bad Joe, who flees.
Good Joe, having stayed to help Sarah, is sent to a ‘correctional facility’ for two years. On his release, finding that his past prevents him from getting a good job, he struggles to make ends meet. Despite managing to buy himself a second-hand car, he convinces himself that he is an embarrassment to all who care about him – especially Sarah, whose new college lifestyle reading law is complicated by Callum, a fellow student. In an effort to keep up with this guy, Good Joe is beguiled by his ‘mate’ Reecey into helping stage a break-in for some easy money – is caught and this time sent down.
Meanwhile, Bad Joe has lost Sarah, but is making a success of a burgeoning career, using his breaking and entering skills to install security systems which he then instructs a lowlife ‘mate’ called Reecey how to breach. His efforts soon earn him enough money to start his own business in property development, where he attracts the attention of Mister Pressman. Now a successful businessman, he is able to swan back into Sarah’s life, literally sweeping her off her feet at her college dance.
Three years later, at 21, Bad Joe and Sarah get married in Vegas, while Good Joe is leaving prison, forced to sleep rough in the second-hand car he bought all those years ago. At this point, Good Joe and Bad Joe’s worlds start to collide. Mister Pressman has decided to ‘redevelop’ Camden by demolishing Casey Street – except Joe’s mum Kath refuses to leave. This house is special, she says, given to her family in perpetuity because their ancestors helped build Casey Street.
Good Joe vows to save the house. He calls on Sarah, now a trainee lawyer engaged to Callum, to help prove that Kath does own the deeds to 25 Casey Street. Bad Joe, meanwhile, is called on by Mister Pressman to help destroy the house in a strong arm final straw tactic to get the occupant to move out. Bad Joe does this by arranging – with Reecey’s help - for the house to be burned down while she is out celebrating her birthday. Except tragically all Kath wants to do is wait in the house for her son to come visit her on that special day. In the Good Joe story, the errant son returns, holding the property deeds, to find the house burning down but his mum safe; in the Bad Joe story the ‘successful’ son returns too late, to realise his mum was in there, waiting for him.
From the ashes of the house fire Good Joe is reborn, reunited with Sarah, who he marries, and also with his mum. Mister Pressman and Reecey are sent down for arson. Bad Joe, having lost Sarah and his mum, is sent down as an accomplice to manslaughter. And in the final beat of the show we wind back time to where we started, the moment of decision on Joe’s sixteenth birthday: when asked what he wants to do, somehow he knows now the right decision to make. He simply says ‘Let’s go dancing!’
Joe - Chris Carswell
Joe's Dad - Steve Brookstein
Miria Parvin - Sarah
Our House follows the trend of Mamma Mia! and We Will Rock You but is in another league from these compilation shows. Our House may be based on the songs of Madness, but it is no tribute show. It is a stylish, classy evening of intelligent story telling performed by the most energetic cast currently on the West-End stage. It is, in short, a great new British musical.
Our House follows Joe Casey through two versions of his life - the result of making a crucial decision ala Sliding Doors. As we switch between two versions of the same story, illusionist Paul Kieve has designed remarkable quick changes which sees Joe switch costumes in seconds behind umbrellas and other set pieces. While the Madness songs never hold up the action, without them Tim Firth's script is still a great story. With the possible exception of the opening to Act Two (Night Boat To Cairo/Wings of a Dove), the songs never feel like they have been crowbarred into the book, and could have been written specially.
It is true that at times things get complicated, but this is no bad thing. There's no time to sit back and relax, expect to engage your brain, be moved to tears, sometimes through empathy for the characters, but often with sheer uncontrollable laughter.
From the opening, which plays House of Fun and Our House in tandem, we know we're in for something special. Peter Darling's (Billy Elliot, Merrily We Roll Along) ingenious choreography is breathtaking, and at its most innovative in the schoolroom "Baggy Trousers" scene, in which bad guy Matt Cross (Reecey) displays his stunning dancing skills.
In the lead role of Joe, Michael Jibson displays accomplished talent and an intelligence as an actor that belies his years. Fellow graduate from Guildford School of Acting, Julia Gay plays Joe's girlfriend Sarah and is perfectly cast with a beautiful voice. Together they share one of the most moving moments in the show It Must Be Love.
As Joe's parents, both Ian Reddington and Lesley Nicol give excellent performances, but are not well cast against each other with an unconvincing age gap, which meant that Margate was far less moving than it should have been.
Also impressive in the cast are the Tameka Empson as Billie and Oliver Jackson as Lewis who are both hilarious and somewhat overshadow their respective sidekicks.
Rob Howell's smart design is great fun, resembling a cartoonish Madness video. Director Matthew Warchus' direction is tight and subtly accurate. The pace never sags, and the complicated narrative is well signposted.
The show also pokes fun at other musicals (I Am Driving In My Car pokes fun at Grease and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang while Camden Market becomes an Oliver parody). This show is London's answer to Rent. It's hip, trendy and could be what the West-End needs to attract a new younger audience, without alienating the existing theatregoers. It may not be from the Donmar or the National - but Olivier panel sit up and see the Best New Musical this year.
MARK BARLOW - MUSICAL STAGES ONLINE
There is a corner of Covent Garden that could be forever Camden Town if the feelgood fun that is this Madness-based musical runs as long as its near neighbour The Mousetrap. The newly trimmed and pacier version that has just opened certainly deserves to last as many years as its theatrical soulmate, Blood Brothers.
Indeed, the presence of Madness frontman Suggs for a 10 week stint now puts the Nutty icing on a rather terrific cake. He might mot be the greatest actor as the narrating dead father of central character Joe, but with him on stage, it is as if all is right with the world and this show.
He watches as the Sliding-Doors-type story unfolds, that of 16-year-old lad Joe who, trying to impress his girlfriend, is caught committing a minor crime. Should he run or stay? Tim Firth's likeable book follows two simultaneous different paths of good and bad - though events are not black and white as Rob Howell's cleverly changing monochrome sets imply.
Matthew Warchus's production quickly grabs the audience with those Madness classics, opening with the larky condoms odyssey of House of Fun, leading into the title song as Camden terrace opens up into an explosion of balloons and revellers and Baggy trousers with anarchic schoolkids hurtling desks across the stage. Peter Darling's choreoraphy is just joyous, and given boundless fizz by a young cast.
And talking of energy, Michael Jibson's lightning costume changes from one Joe to another still defy belief; his performance, too, is supremely assured yet, with the face of a teenage Bisto kid, he retains the necessary vulnerability when required.
For this is not just all cheeky, laddish humour, it is about adolescent angst, friendship and loyalty, the importance of family and home - notions that chime well with the more plaintive and touching side of the Madness oeuvre.
In another incarnation I described Our House as a welcome rival to Abbafest Mamma Mis! I think NW1 is now giving Sweden a real run for its money, money, money. It would be utter madness to miss it.
THE EVENING STANDARD
Too chirpy by half: that was the faintly damning verdict meted out on the Madness musical Our House when it opened last October, and the show has struggled at the box office ever since. Relaunched now after scooping the Best Musical award at the Oliviers, and with the band's beloved frontman Suggs making his West End debut for one week only in a minor but pivotal role, this time fate seems to be conspiring against its survival: the triple whammy of war, heightened fears about terrorism and a next-to-useless tube system threaten to make stay-at-homes of all of us.
Well, it would be a crying shame if this brilliant, boisterous entertainment were to fall by the wayside. There can be no musical in town more likely to lift depressed spirits, calm nerves and restore a sense of joy in London life than Tim Firth's treatment of Madness's mighty back catalogue. Together with director Matthew Warchus and choreographer Peter Darling, Firth scales the songs' nutty heights of fun and oft-overlooked depths of feeling with patriotically rousing elan.
Despite murmurings that Our House has been rejigged in response to detractors' comments, a second viewing confirms that, barring a brisker pace, very little has changed, which is precisely as it should be, because there was very little amiss in the first place.
The main drawback is that, without any prior knowledge of or affection for the tunes, a full appreciation of the show's abundant craftmanship and subtler humour inevitably suffers. But, in centring the story on the coming-of-age dilemmas of a Camden lad called Joe, niftily cutting between versions of the life that awaits him, Firth appeals to anyone who's ever gone through the agonies and ecstasies of adolescence or pondered the price of getting ahead.
The cast - fronted by Michael Jibson as Joe, Julia Gay as his girlfriend - bristle with energy, carrying the action forward on a great surging wave of teenage hormones. To the showstopping delight of Baggy Trousers, in which school desks whiz around the stage like dodgem cars, and the quiet rapture of It Must Be Love must be added another highlight this week - the singular treat of hearing the yearning-filled ballad One Better Day delivered anew by its originator, Suggs, as Joe's dad. Standing alone on a heavy overcoat, Madness's main man lets loose soaring hopes for better times. With or without his claasy presence, this show deserves them.
OUR HOUSE is in the GUINESS BOOK of RECORDS!
The fastest theatrical production was produced in 22 hours and was achieved by Youth Theatre Performerz (UK) in association with MRL productions (UK) at the Princes Theatre Clacton in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, UK, from 31 March to 1 April 2012.
Youth Theatre Performerz staged the Tim Firth Musical 'Our House', which features songs of the British band 'Madness.' The record began at 21:30 on 31 March and ended at exactly 19:30 on 1 April 2012. The 22 hour time period included all aspects of production, including production meetings, auditions, choreography sessions, blocking, rehearsals, set/lighting design and construction, design and creation of costumes and props. The performance lasted for 1 hour 43 minutes and 39 seconds and received a standing ovation.
Taken from guinnessworldrecords.com
Congratulations from Tim Firth.com
HOUSE - A Musical Love Story
Universal Pictures Video
Scripts, CDs and DVDs of Tim Firth's work are available.
OUR HOUSE - The Musical is now available for Amateur Dramatic groups. Click here for Joseph Weinberger