Theatre Royal, Glasgow, until Sat 5 Jul; Playhouse, Edinburgh, Mon 7–Sat 12 Jul
Following in the footsteps of popular jukebox musicals Mamma Mia! and We Will Rock You, comes this effort from writer Tim Firth (Calendar Girls), featuring the music of ska/pop legends Madness. Comparable to a London-based Blood Brothers, Our House is the story of teenager Joe, who faces a dilemma that splits his world.
Starring as the ghost of Joe’s dad (played by Madness frontman Suggs in the Olivier Award-winning West End production), original X-Factor winner Steve Brookstein explains that this is more than just a tribute show. ‘People have found that it’s the show that they love, and people have been converted to fans of Madness because of it. You don’t get surprised by thinking that a song doesn’t work – it really feels as if the songs were made for the show and not the other way round.’
Favourably comparing the lyrical prowess of Madness to Noël Coward, Brookstein stresses the emotional depth of the show. ‘It’s very warm, romantic and funny, but it’s also poignant and sad, and it touches a lot of people’s lives. Times in their lives where they were faced with an ultimatum, a choice that defined who they were or where they were going, a job opportunity they turned down or a move abroad, and it’s about those little choices in life, in destiny and what’s meant to be. It’s very human in that respect.’
It may not be one step beyond, but missing this would still be an embarrassment. Baggy trousers optional.