Review: Our House, by Tim Firth with music from Madness, Conservatoire East
- Credit: Archant
It is always a joy to watch young theatre students perform. They bring an energy and infectious enthusiasm to the stage which is impossible to resist and that was certainly the case at the Conservatoire East production of Our House.
Using hit songs from 80s band Madness, the Sliding Doors-style musical follows teenager Joe Casey who breaks into a building on his 16th birthday to impress a girl then has to choose whether to face the consequences or run away – all under the watchful eye of his father’s ghost.
Simple but clever staging, and an occasional change of jacket, makes each life path (relatively) clear and the actors work hard to keep the rather complicated story on track.
Tom Barber has a strong stage presence as Joe’s dad, while Faye Smith gives a beautifully understated, but memorable, portrayal of his mother, Kath. Both have great voices and provide some truly touching moments including a brilliant scene featuring the song One Better Day.
But star of the show is undoubtedly Ryan Adams who is outstanding as Joe. On stage for almost the entire production he inhabits the character completely and maintains an energetic, emotional and engaging performance throughout - from Baggy Trousers to the emotional roller coaster of an ending.
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As you might expect from a student production it is fair to say the whole thing needed a little refining, but it is a joy to watch this blossoming talent and perfectly clear that they are being carefully nurtured at Conservatoire East.
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