By Mike Pickering
Writer for What’s On Hub
Music can evoke memories and act like a nostalgic time machine, the likes of which Doc Brown himself would have been proud. So it was that “Our House”, opened on Tuesday evening at Bridlington Spa, and opened a portal to the eighties for those of the audience old enough to remember them.
The brainchild of Madness and Tim Firth, “Our House” was written to create distance from itself and “jukebox musicals” which had gone on before but instead turned that concept on its head and had a plot which was written to complement the songs and music which have entertained for decades.
The plot follows Joe Casey as he struggles to resist following in the notorious footsteps of his late father. A time-line flashpoint decision causes the story to fork into two tales a la “Sliding Doors” (quite literally at times too). Ultimately the two divergent time-lines merge to reveal a fate of redemption and ignominy.
The players within this performance worked so well as to allow the audience to be fully invested in the story being told as opposed to just waiting for the next hit to be performed. Joe’s father aside, the solo vocals were not that strong but I’m sure the normally self-deprecating front-man, Suggs, would be the first to admit he wasn’t Freddie Mercury in the vocal stakes. 2008 BGT winner, George Sampson, showed he is no one trick pony with an impressive musical theatre debut in his bovver boy garb.
The ensemble numbers were much more melodic and Fabian Aloise needs to be congratulated on some fantastically choreographed routines. The first act was stronger although the second act provided the more memorable numbers such as an ensemble rousing rendition of “Wings of a Dove”, a lovely duet of “It Must Be Love” and a finish that inspired some standing ovations and rhythmic clapping from a thoroughly enthused audience.
The renovation and facelift given to Bridlington Spa in recent years have been money well spent and with the East Yorkshire coast providing the scenic backdrop, this theatre is very easy on the eyes both internal and external.
In recent years, I have frequented award ceremonies such as the one being held this Friday in the Royal Hall and was unsure what to expect of the more intimate setting of the theatre but was pleasantly surprised by how well each inch of space was used and the sound systems used almost had you in a concert setting.
All the staff were very courteous and friendly and it was great of them to have arranged a meet and greet of some of the cast once the performance had finished for any of the paying public to get pictures as well as selfies. The Spa hugely contributed to what was a massively entertaining evening where I would recommend both the musical and the venue.
Our House – The Madness Musical is showing every night this week until Saturday (21st Oct) with matinees on Thursday and Saturday afternoons. You can book tickets online at bridspa.com or by calling 01262 678258.