Musical by Tim Firth, featuring the music and lyrics by Madness. Put together all the hits from national treasures Madness, a hilarious and touching London love story from the writer Tim Firth, and throw in some serious genius, and you get Our House - one of the most exciting theatrical events for years. Follow our hero Joe Casey and the different paths that life and love take him. Set in present day Camden, this contemporary and fast moving new musical featuring all the MADNESS hits including 'Our House', 'Baggy Trousers', 'It Must Be Love', 'House Of Fun', 'One Step Beyond' and 'My Girl', as well as two brand new songs.
Tim Firth's other London theatre shows include the Take That musical The Band; the comedies Neville’s Island, Sign of the Times, and Calendar Girls, and a musical comedy version of the show, The Girls.
Original West End London Production 2002 at the Cambridge Theatre
Previewed 7 October 2002, Opened 28 October 2002, Closed 16 August 2003 at the Cambridge Theatre
The new musical Our House in London featuring the songs of Madness
This production was delayed by one week, and was originally scheduled to open on 21 October 2003, with public previews from 30 September 2003.
The cast featured Michael Jibson as 'Joe Casey', Julia Gay as 'Sarah', Ian Reddington as 'Joe's Dad' (from Monday 7 October 2002 to Saturday 15 March 2003, Monday 24 March to Saturday 5 April 2003, and Monday 16 June to Saturday 16 August 2003), Suggs as 'Joe's Dad' (from Monday 17 to Saturday 22 March 2003, and Monday 7 April to Saturday 14 June 2003), Matt Cross as 'Reecey', Tameka Empson as 'Billie', Richard Frame as 'Emmo', Andrea Francis as 'Angie', Oliver Jackson as 'Lewis', Lesley Nichol as 'Kath Casey', Mike Scott as 'Mr Pressman', James Beattie, Ruth Brown, Deborah Bundy, Peter Caulfield, Mary Doherty, Alison Forbes, Mark Hilton, Paul Kemble, Lynden O'Neill, Darren Smithers, Andrew Spillett, Dean Stobbart, Carryl Thomas, and Hannah Tollman, with Robyn Issac, Debbie Jenkins, Chris Thatcher, and Oliver Tomsett.
The lead vocalist with Madness, Suggs (AKA Graham McPherson), played the role of 'Joe's Dad' for a total of eleven weeks, dates as above.
Directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Peter Darling, designs by Rob Howell, effects by Paul Kieve, lighting by Mark Henderson, and sound by Rick Clarke.
"The craze for 'greatest hits' musicals gets ever nuttier: We have had Abba's, in Mamma Mia!, and Queen's, in We Will Rock You. But you would have to be very hard of heart to spurn the welcome offered by the boys from Madness, with the aid of writer Tim Firth, to their house of fun... Virtue prevails in this oddly wholesome show where nobody spits or swears. The songs even fit the plot - just. The familiar tunes wash us along on a wave of wellbeing. What lifts the production is the performance given by young Michael Jibson, who is breathtakingly good as Joe. He looks like the Artful Dodger, but has the hoofing charisma of Gene Kelly. He is on stage virtually all the time - sometimes there seem to be two of him at once - and he acts both his parallel roles with astonishing conviction... They were dancing in the aisles by the end. If you have ever tapped your foot to Madness, you'll want to join them." The Daily Express
"I'd never really appreciated the musical qualities of Suggsy's hits - until they were, for the most part, destroyed by an enthusiastic but startlingly untuneful crowd. And at over two-and-a-half hours, this production was too long. It could have been shorter had they not stuck to an over-contrived double storyline in which we follow our hero Joe Casey in his parallel odysseys through life in Camden, London, NW1. Joe has two choices - to give himself up after breaking in to a building site or to run for it. On the one hand he bolts for freedom and embarks on a career as a would-be property tycoon. But he loses the respect and devotion of Sarah, his girlfriend. On the other hand he faces the music, goes to young offenders prison - but retains Sarah's love. We're supposed to favour the latter course of action. But, hey, it's a musical, and it's just got to be sentimental. And Our House is nothing if not sentimental. As Joe Casey, Michael Jibson was one of the slightly better singers. Julia Gay, who played soppy Sarah, couldn't hit the notes. All in all, the dish they set before us was disappointing. In my opinion, an unfit way to commemorate that brilliant pop oddity that was Madness." The Daily Mirror
"Our House, written by Tim Firth, tells the story of Joe, a Camden lad who commits a petty crime on his 16th birthday in an attempt to impress his girlfriend Sarah... Joe (Michael Jibson) is an endearing enough figure, present on stage throughout almost the full two-and-a-half hours (longer than many pop careers today). And Tameka Empson and Andrea Francis, playing the only two black girls in Camden, claim most of the best lines. There's a cute nod to Oliver, set in Camden Lock market ('Who will buy my joss sticks?'). But just who is this production aimed at? Madness's music will mean nothing to the tourist crowd in search of an authentic slice of how the Cockneys live, while any Eminem number has more narrative depth. This is just simply excruciating." The Independent
Our House in London at the Cambridge Theatre previewed from 7 October 2002, opened on 28 October 2002 and closed on 16 August 2003
London Concert 2012 at Savoy Theatre
Sunday 11 November 2012
The Tenth Anniversary Concert of Our House in London starring Suggs, Wendi Peters, Alistair McGowan and Tameka Empson
Presented in aid of Help for Heroes.
The cast featured Chris Carswell as 'Joe Casey', Miria Parvin as 'Sarah', Suggs as 'Joe's Dad', Matt Cross as 'Reecey', Tameka Empson as 'Billie', Jenny Fitzpatrick as 'Angie', Jack Shalloo as 'Lewis', Wendi Peters as 'Kath Casey', Alistair McGowan as 'Mr Pressman', Greg Airey, Georgie Ashford, Lauren Appleby, Kara Bayer, Gabrielle Brooks, Dougie Carter, Debbie Jenkins, Paul Kemble, Lewis Krik, Kayleigh Louise-Smith, Michael Melmoe, Jenny O'Leary, Carryl Thomas, and Gavin Wilkinson.
Directed by Matthew Warchus, with designs by Rob Howell, video by Andrzej Goulding, lighting by Jonathan Rouse, and sound by Simon Baker.