Review: Chesterfield College’s storming production of Our House

Performing arts students at Chesterfield College rehearsing their Madness musical, Our House
Performing arts students at Chesterfield College rehearsing their Madness musical, Our House

Queen did it. So did Abba.

And 1980s ska band Madness.

Weaving a musical around the well-known songs of a band has become something of a theatrical tradition.

Our House, the Madness musical, harks back to a time when pop songs had tunes but the theme is modern and universal. It follows young Joe Casey (a marathon performance from Jordan Stanbrook) along two alternative paths: he follows his dead dad’s example, makes some wrong choices, and comes a cropper; or he makes his own choices which mean he looks like a loser, but he ultimately comes out on top.

Chesterfield College’s performing arts department chose Our House for their first full-scale musical production at the Pomegranate for two nights this week.

The cast of three dozen had all the energy and enthusiasm you’d expect from a group of performing arts students, not to mention a generous portion of plain old-fashioned talent.

They enlisted heavyweight help too: professional standard costumes and staging with slick changes; Jonathan Francis directing the seven-piece band, and lively, well-drilled choreography designed by Rebecca Langford.

The future beckons for these young performers.

LYNNE PATRICK