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Hillingdon Musical Society get ready to stage Our House at the Compass in Ickenham
What’s your favourite Madness song? My Girl? Baggy Trousers? Driving in My Car? Whichever it is, you’re sure to hear it in Hillingdon Musical Society ’s production of Our House , which features no less than 23 of the band’s hits.
Fresh from the West End, Our House tells the story of Joe Casey, who lives in Camden with his mum, and the differing ways his life could turn out after a brush with the law on his 16th birthday.
“That’s where the whole thing turns – does he give himself in or does he run away?,” says director Kenny Frier, from Uxbridge. “The show then follows two stories – good Joe, who goes to a young offenders’ institute and tries to do the right thing, and bad Joe, who makes a run for it and gets involved with some very dodgy characters.”
The story is narrated by the dad that Joe never knew, a man who tried to do good things but made some bad choices and went to prison, and was then killed in a bar brawl. “He’s Joe’s guardian angel,” says Kenny. “It’s about generations making the same mistakes.”
Our House was the perfect fit for Hillingdon Musical Society, as Kenny explains. “It revolves around the lives of a set of teenagers as they go into their early 20s, so it was perfect for the group we’ve got, with lots of teenagers and young people. There’s also a smidgen of head teachers and parents for our older members, too.”
And what about the music? “You get that thrill of knowing all the songs beforehand,” Kenny says. “A lot of the big numbers are there as you’d know them, and then there are other smaller ones that you’ll know but they’ve been adapted, like Michael Caine . We take the middle eight from that and sing it two or three times. And one of the high points is when we do It Must Be Love , it’s one of the few really poignant moments of the show.”
Are the cast and crew sick of the songs yet? “If anything, we’re getting more into Madness!” Kenny laughs. “They’re thought of as being more of an 80s band but, with the Jubilee concert and the Olympics ceremony, they’re still relevant. Although, being 52, I remember them from the first time round – I’ve still got the Doc Martens to prove it.”
- Our House is at the Compass Theatre , Glebe Avenue, Uxbridge, Ickenham from Wednesday, September 26 to Saturday, September 29 at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday. Details: call the Hillingdon Musical Society box office on 07890 732244, www.hillingdonmusicalsociety.co.uk