OUR HOUSE

Date 15th November 2016
Society Bilston Operatic Company
Venue Grand Theatre Wolverhampton
Type of Production Musical
Director Laura Canadine
Musical Director Ian Room
Choreographer Laura Canadine

Report

Author: Jean Beard

An exceptionally talented, enthusiastic cast headed by Ben Evans as Joe Casey burst upon the Grand Theatre stage. It was explosive from start to finish with smiles and energetic singing and dancing. Laura Canadine knew how she wanted to interpret the story and  worked herself and the cast to the limit of their potential and it showed. 

The orchestra and the singing were under the tight control of Ian Room and the Madness songs "Baggy Trousers", "House of Fun" and, of course, "Our House" illustrated the hard work that must have been demanded at all rehearsals.

The story tells the story of the good and bad worlds of Joe, and the impact his mates Emmo (Matthew Coombs) and Lewi (Tom Withers) have on his life and the influence of his girl friend, Sarah (Abbi Strudwicke) and her friends Billy (Jordan Barratt) and Angie (Katie Harrison). The young cast was very ably supported by the older members of the company with Mike James and Sue Towler as Joe's Dad and Mom and Jacob Kohli as the villain of the piece, Reecey.

It was a clever set and the lighting effects were used to the maximum. Full marks to Stage Manager Robin Morrison and the crew, both amateur and professional, for smooth scene changes.

The show began with Joe's 16th birthday party and follows the choices that Joe could make with his life -Good or Bad - and ends back at the 16th birthday party. Which path will Joe take?

A show that demanded concentration from the audience but which, illustrated by the performers, became abundantly clear. The show had pace and the excellent choreography and the prolonged applause on opening night must have convinced the cast and company that they had ticked all the boxes  and presented entertainment on every level for their audience.

At the end of the evening I was exhausted but left the theatre feeling that I had spent an evening watching a show that had energy, style and a bright future for the young members of the cast whatever direction their lives take them.