|Date||21st July 2018|
|Society||Youth Connection Theatre Company|
|Venue||Park View Theatre|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||David Johnson|
Author: Michelle Coulson
Our House follows the fate of Joe Casey who on his 16th birthday finds himself in a situation that will change the path his life takes. As he is about to make a crucial choice of action we see his story split into two and from then on see the consequences of a good decision verses a bad decision. This award winning musical has the benefit of a book by Tim Firth of “Calendar Girls” fame and a score filled with the songs of Madness.
The action moved smoothly from one scene to the next with well executed scene changes and good lighting plot. The band was excellent and there was good sound balance with them not overpowering the cast, a difficult task when the music has a strong saxophone and brass element.
The many supporting roles were well performed in particular Christopher Barrass as Mr Pressman and John Williams as Callum. The ensemble was good and had lots of energy especially in the “Baggy Trousers” and “Our House” numbers giving the singing and choreography their all.
Friendship plays a huge part in the story and the main characters came seemed to have a real camaraderie. Gary Hoyle as Emmo and Ben Fairly as Lewis had a good rapport and came across as good friends to Joe as well as portraying the darker scenes in act 2 very well. Jamie Donkin as Billie and Emily Hardy as Angie made a great partnership; they portrayed the loud duo very well with some laugh out loud moments. Joe’s mum Kath was portrayed by Katie Barton, Katie did well at being the steady constant influence in Joe’s life. The role of Joe’s deceased dad was in the safe hands of Jake Marshal who gave a strong performance as the character who appears as a narrator to the story constantly following Joe’s actions and trying to warn him of the consequences. The lead roles of Sarah and Joe were well portrayed by Rachel Duncan and Craig Wallace. Rachel’s singing was superb and her performance “NW5” was particularly moving. The role of Joe is demanding, he is rarely off stage and has multiple costume changes sometimes several in one scene/song and Craig handled it all in his stride making it look effortless and with good vocal performances.
Congratulations to everyone involved for an enjoyable production which was well received by a very appreciative audience on the night I attended and thank you to Linda Watson for her words of encouragement to all local amateur groups and asking the audience to support as many productions as they can so our hobby and learning can continue. I hope your performances at the Edinburgh Fringe of “The Lucky Durhams” are a huge success.