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Folk and Blues
Our House
by Madness and Tim Firth
Trinity Concert Hall, Croydon
24th to 26th February 2011
Directed and Choreographed by Helen Harman
Musical Director: Colin Warnock

Please use THIS LINK to view the photographs

Croydon Advertiser Review.  10 March 2011

Helen Harman's debut directing was, just like the many songs of Madness, a total hit.


The plot centres around the paths 16 year old Joe Casey opts to follow, dressed in white for the good decisions and black for the bad. James Backway romped away with the role - constantly on stage and changing costumes in the blink of an eye thanks to his two speedy dressers Jo Gunner and Val Lee.


Joining him in many escapades are friends Lewis and Emmo, jauntily played by Alan Geeson and Joel Blyth. Sarah is Joe's girlfriend with Beci Sageman adding her vocal talents to those of the trio.


Much of Madness' music is very up tempo and the chorus used their considerable artistic ability not only to transform themselves into various personae but to put over the exceptionally well choreographed numbers with unflagging energy and deserve an accolade all their own.


Shadowing Joe in his decisions is Dad gone bad and now deceased with Keith Robertshaw strongly duetting with Joe and in his emotional solo Simple Equation.


Centre stage, a set of spinning flats were constantly turned and 'our house' created in the middle. A most effective car prop and road video provided a realistic fun journey for Driving In My Car and the school setting for Baggy Trousers had the 'kids' doing some outrageous pranks.


Constantly mocking Sarah for her faith in Joe are supposed friends Millie and Angie with Anna Frost and Emily Smyth making the most of their catty lines. Jane Kortlandt is an empathic Mum for Joe and Mike Lilley has the power to entice Joe into bad ways as Reecey.


Theo Spring