Review: Our House at Chesterfield's Pomegranate Theatre

Six years after performing their last full-length musical at Chesterfield's Pomegranate Theatre, the students of Directions Theatre Arts made a triumphant return.

Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 5:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 5:21 pm
Baggy Trousers scene in Our House presented by Directions Theatre Ars

They were back where they belonged - giving it large on a big stage in a fast-paced, energetic production.

The musical Our House zipped along at a rate of knots with numerous songs and scene changes to keep cast and crew on their toes.

Lead performer James Morgan rose to a marathon challenge in his role as tortured Joe Casey whose life goes in opposite directions. He had a huge script and was barely off stage, apart from sharp exits for rapid costume changes. James’ vocal prowess rose to the fore in a range of numbers, with a ballard proving particularly impressive.

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He gelled well with his leading lady Ashton Harkness, playing Sarah, whose solo NWS was a vocal highlight.

Supporting performers John Crowther as Joe’s dead dad and conscience, Jinny Gould as his mum and Ashley Crowther as a villain did a great job at fleshing out the story and contributed strong singing to the show.

Light relief came from Josh Crowther and Tom Blunt playing Joe’s friends and Milly Schleifer and Ellie-Rose Walker cast as Sarah’s pals.

Peppered with the hit songs of Madness, the musical’s choreography was second to none especially in the standout Baggy Trousers scene which featured well-drilled ensemble dancing and impressive gymnastics.

Lovely touches to the show included a bandy-legged pensioner on a walking frame and a wedding guest with a selfie stick. Union Jack umbrellas created a kaleidoscope of colour and were a good way of masking the leading man’s costume change.

The show was directed by choreographer Julie Cox and Gary Oliver, produced by Geoff Cox with vocal coaching by Anna Kuc and musical direction by Jonathan Francis.

Our House continues on Wednesday, March 16, at 7.15pm.