Our House

Date 18th February 2020
Society The Burton Musical Theatre Company
Venue De Ferres Academy
Type of Production Musical
Director Steve Foster
Musical Director David Blackwell
Choreographer Danielle Berriman

Report

Author: Alan Bruce

Based on and featuring the music of British ska band Madness, with a big hint of a Sliding Doors, what if plot line. Our House was written by Tim Firth.

Jonny Stewart as Good and Bad Joe Casey, did a great job switching from character to character with ease and conviction, commanding the stage, good interaction with Sarah, Emily Bonsall, again playing the two possible story lines for her character equally well.

Andy Last again showed his class, a lovely understated performance as the watchful spirit Joe's dad.

All of the principal characters brought their 'A' game to the show. Exuberant and lively, switching between the two aspects seamlessly, great harmonies and engagement. In fact the whole cast worked hard for one another, bringing a real feel good factor to the show.

Director Steve Foster, ably assisted by the rest of the production team and their skilled teams, pulled out all of the stops in bringing Our House to the stage. Effective scenery changes gave the show a very good pace. One of my favourite scenes was Driving In My Car, the cast reaction to the back projection was excellent. The stunning Good/Bad, side by side fire at Casey Street was very well staged indeed, emotive and poignant.

Musical Director David Blackwell yet again produced outstanding results from his well drilled musicians and cast. Sadly a good deal of his and their hard work was undone by the sound; usually of a very high standard and quality at BMTC shows, as I've commented upon many times before, tonight though it was a distraction throughout, the booming sub frequencies on the bass drum in particular bled over the rest of the band and dialogue to the point of losing parts of the show, added to that the number of late microphone cues meant we also lost lots of dialogue and vocal lines. I'm not sure what the on stage sound is like for the song cues as it seemed to cause a few uncertain moments for some of the cast, caught between the MD's baton and what they were hearing.

Choreography by Dannie Berriman on the whole worked really well, it was slightly untidy in places. Costumes, particularly in the Las Vegas scene; were good throughout, although one or two cast members were constantly pulling their skirts down, which drew the attention.

I'm sure a lot of the issues I've commented on are down to it being opening night and will subsequently become resolved.

Our House a fun energetic show, the audience absolutely loved it.