All to often, juke box musicals rely solely on the popularity of a band or era’s music to be a success with candy floss stories of no substance.
While Our House is jam packed with hits from ska legends Madness, it’s got a cleverly woven tale (by Tim Firth, of Calendar Girls’ fame) to support the full-on romp through the band’s back catalogue.
On his 16th birthday, Joe Casey faces a moral dilemma of right or wrong, and we follow his life along each route.
Jason Kadji takes the challenge of Joe’s dual life and runs with it, by turn charming or cheeky, defeated and defiant, in a superb individual performance.
The supporting cast sadly don’t have as much to work with, causing the story to stumble at times. Deena Payne (ex-Emmerdale) and Callum McArdle bring warmth as mum Kath Casey and a ghostly Dad,and while George Sampson - of Britain's Got Talent fame - has some impressive moves, he fails to make bullying bad boy Reecey truly menacing.
A wildly and infectiously energetic ensemble have some superbly frenetic choreography to tackle, perfectly complementing the spirit of Madness’s big hits such as Our House, Baggy Trousers and Wings Of A Dove.
The show is a lot of fun, but the parallel plot lines can be confusing at times. But above all, it’s a celebration of family, friends, love and some fantastic music.