The latest in a line of musicals based on the back catalogue of a pop group — as with Mamma Mia! (ABBA) and We Will Rock You (Queen) — Our House is billed as "a London love story" and is based around the music of 1980's pop supergroup Madness.
Madness, fronted by singer Suggs, were noted for their lyrics and for the theatricality of their videos (they were early leaders in the art of promotional pop videos), so they start with an advantage over a number of their contemporaries.
Chairing the lunchtime launch at the Scala was Tiger Aspect Production's Peter Bennett Jones. His company, which is co-producing Our House with Rupert Lord (and Madness as Associate Producers), is one of the UK's leading independent film and television companies.
At the press conference the team revealed more details about the £2.5 million show, which will open at the Cambridge Theatre on Oct. 15, 2002, following previews from the end of September. Billed as an epic and fast moving romantic comedy, Our House is set in Camden in the present day. It's the story of Joe, his mates, his girlfriend Sarah and the night he commits a petty crime to impress her. The story follows the two courses his life would have taken had he stayed to face the music when the police appeared on the scene or bunked the law and made a run for it.
Our House has attracted some of the leading creative figures in British theatre, including writer Tim Fountain (Neville's Island), director Matthew Warchus (Art), designer Rob Howell and lighting designer Mark Henderson. Peter Darling, who choreographed "Billy Elliott" (a Tiger Aspect film) will choreograph Our House, a show that Bennett Jones described, at the press launch, as a love story that combines humor with love, ambition and youth, and is a fun, contemporary musical with a strong, exciting storyline.
The launch saw Madness take to the stage for renditions of "Our House" and "Baggy Trousers" and generated great excitement among the press corps.
—By Paul Webb Theatrenow