REVIEW: Our House at Ferneham Hall in Fareham

Sean Ridley in Our House by Fareham Musical Society

Less than a month after the band took centre stage at Victorious, the music of Madness is back on the south coast courtesy of Our House.

This show by Fareham Musical Society weaves their famous hits together such as My Girl, Baggy Trousers and Driving in My Car. Unfortunately, like most jukebox musicals, the storyline isn’t great.

Forced with a big decision on his 16th birthday, it explores the parallel paths Joe Casey’s life would take pending his decision. Think Sliding Doors with Suggs instead of Gwyneth Paltrow.

Sean Ridley is fantastic as the protagonist. With boundless energy, cracking vocals and slick delivery, he leads this production effortlessly. His on-stage, and real-life mother, Marie Ridley also shines throughout.

Hannah Edwins and Zara Newbury-Skinner are hugely comical as Angie and Billie whilst special mention must also go to Louise Helyer and her orchestra, who were fabulous.

The principles were supported by a large cast that, in the main, did a good job with the undoubtedly tricking timing cues. However, a couple of numbers were somewhat lacklustre, particularly Wings of a Dove in which the performance and vocal attack didn’t match the bright costumes and choreography.

Sadly, sound issues also plagued the performance, particularly in the first half, however this will no doubt be rectified for the rest of the run.

Madness fans won’t be disappointed.

Until Saturday.

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