Review: Our House, Lyceum

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STOS’s latest offering is Tim Firth’s 2003 musical, a love story set in London with the music of Madness.

Like father like son, Joe Casey’s 16th birthday leads him to commit a petty crime to impress a girl. With a nod to the 1998 movie, Sliding Doors, the play splits into two halves, depending on whether Joe stays to face the music or runs from the police.

The whole cast, and the audience, have a terrific time in this fast-moving, energetic and colourful show. All the famous Madness hits are here, including the title tune, Baggy Trousers and monster smash, Labi Siffre cover It Must Be Love. The choreography and direction are top notch.

Frith exposes a faulty society where ex-offenders inevitably reoffend as a result of being denied employment whereas fraud from a “suit” goes unpunished. But this is mostly a feel-good story, which leaves you with a smile on your face.

James Smith shines as Joe Casey and Catherine Harban does well as girlfriend Sarah, showcasing a well-trained singing voice. Mark Harris and Joanne Ringrose are Joe’s parents while Richard Granger, Digory Holmes, Rachel Hemstalk and Anna Hollis are Joe and Sarah’s vacant pals. Joseph Walker and Phill Probert snarl as corrupting influences Reecey and Mr Pressman.

Our House is a classic tale about karma. Doing the right thing does not guarantee success and riches. Often far from it. It does however ensure peace of mind from which creative thinking and change can occur.