16 July 2011
It's Madness being Sixteen for Joe Casey..he is 16 today, in love for the first time – the world is really changing. As a birthday treat Joe takes Sarah, the girl of his dreams, out on their first date. In an effort to impress her with bravado, he breaks into a building site owned by Mr. Pressman, a high-end property developer. The police turn up, at which point Joe’s life splits into two: the Good Joe, who stays to help, and Bad Joe, who flees…
The story -with distinct echo's from the feature film Sliding Doors and the monster stage hit Blood Brothers -takes us on an emotional roller coaster regarding the dark side of Joe: his craving for power, the Casey name in lights and his selfishness in seeking both, to the lighter side of him being in love, good mate and happy family character.
Jamie Douglas playing Joe, had to overcome a few technical hitches with his microphone, but totally shone with his acting and singing prowess. Once the problems were sorted out, you could really see and hear his passion come through. His on (good Joe) and off (bad Joe) girlfriend Sarah played by the lovely Holly Atkinson took her part by the horns and showed the audience how versatile she is at her craft. The Madness lot must have had Jamie and Holly in mind when writing 'It must be love', as the fruition of the show weaved out its heady course. This particular display was superbly produced.
Family life for Joe had never been easy with his Father (played by another fine singer and actor David Jones) sent to prison and dying well before his time, with only his mother Kath (by the great Lily Moore) bringing him up by the scruff of his neck. Some great scenes were introduced to us with both of them shaping the outcome of Joe.
Pressman: the baddie in all of this, needed his empire complete with the development of Casey's birth home, Aaron Hastings straight from playing Dr.Prospero in the Starset production of Return To The Forbidden Planet, played his devious character very well, I can see a megalomaniac being created here..!!
The rest of the 42 strong crowd did very well up on the stage and delighted family and friends in the crowd. They sung their hearts out to the hits 'Our House', 'My Girl', 'Baggy Trousers' and 'Wings Of A Dove' amongst others.
With a fantastic cast and a brilliant soundtrack from the lovable Cockney charmers Madness, Tim Firth's Our House is yet another hit from the local Starset Theatre clan. Director Elissa Hudson ably assisted by Musical Director John Hudson and Choreographer Claire McMahon have pulled out all of the stops to showcase a stage full of bursting talent. I don't think South Tyneside has ever had it so good.
Next from Starset on the road to discovering the West End of London is Boldon School's take on 'We Will Rock You', starting from Tuesday 19th July...tickets are still available.