Our House, the high energy Madness musical revolves around a family home on Casey Street and the consequences of a decision made by Joe Casey on his 16th birthday, sounds simple? It isn’t. This show misses the mark on so many levels, the plot is forced around the songs making it completely stretched and a struggle to watch. The cast as a whole are overcompensating for the broken narrative by overacting, bringing down the standard of the production to that of an amateur one. The one liners are lost on the audience as the comedic timing is off, sadly ensuring the already dull story falls totally flat.
In spite of this, the group numbers save the show, with a particular highlight being ‘House of Fun’. The choreography by Fabian Aloise is exhilarating and the cast execute it perfectly, showcasing an unwavering high energy and great technical skill. The names they’ve brought in to encourage an audience are Emmerdale’s Deena Payne and Britain’s Got Talent's George Sampson. Payne does a nice job, but unfortunately doesn’t escape the overplaying curse, whereas Sampson is the other end of the scale, performing on one monotonous level throughout. Audience members that have come to see him dance may also be disappointed, he performs very little solo material, and what he does is limited.
This show may have be an Olivier Award winner, but this production definitely didn’t win this audience - the increased amount of empty seats by the start of act 2 is hard to ignore. The curtain call and encore is the most energetic part of the show (maybe they’re relieved to have got through it), with the cast members engaging in a ‘dance off’ and encouraging the audience to get up and join in. This musical is definitely one for Madness fans, but I wouldn’t recommend it to theatre-goers who enjoy any sort of substance. - Anna Jobarteh