REVIEW: Our House - The Madness Musical takes on Littleport

The Littleport Players in Our House

The Littleport Players in Our House - Credit: Archant

The Littleport Players is an amateur theatre company whose superb performances merit a professional London theatreland venue.

Luckily for us locals, their cast and crew’s almost limitless talent was on display at Littleport Village Hall last week for their latest production, Our House - The Madness Musical.

And the hall itself was magically transformed into a top intimate theatre experience for the audience akin to the Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden. The set and staging was a masterpiece and the orchestra pit siting pure genius.

The script written by Tim Firth is inspired by some of the hits composed and sung by the two-tone ska group Madness that open, close and punctuate the action of this modern morality tale romcom set in the late 70’s early 80’s.

However, the clever storyline and its foot-stomping musical score is underpinned by the one song not from Madness but by Labi Siffre – ‘It must be love!’

The twists and turns of the plot both spoken, sung and danced by some of the most talented performers you could ever wish to see, were beautifully presented without exception.

It’s a well-nigh impossible task to praise any cast member more than another, so I will just relate the names of all those concerned with this hugely successful presentation that had the audience applauding all the song and dance routines, laughing at the, sometimes ribald, jokes, and getting quietly choked at the sad parts where you couldn’t hear a pin drop.

Most Read

Especially when Nikki Scott aka Sarah sang her song, and Darren Hitchings, as the ghost of Joe’s Dad, spoke of his fears for his son, and sang Simple Equation.

And while all the cast delighted on the many upbeat numbers, Jack Byng’s singing and dancing skills as Emmo, reminded me of tough-guy Jimmy Cagney’s Hollywood musicals!

Equal credit for a wonderful show goes to all concerned! George Harrison, Nikki Scott, Megan Bidecant, Chelsea Booth, Darren Hitchings, Becky Green, Jack Barry, Jack Byng, Ethan Nelson, Jack Wright, Erin Malkin, Charlie East, Isabel Frammingham, Jessica Gillett-Woodley, Sue Caller and the supporting actors.

The Madness Band were fantastic with Musical Director Mark A.J.Checkley on keyboard, Melody Bell on a second keyboard, Suzzy Richardson on sax, clarinet and flute, 16 year-old Eddie Weedon on trumpet, Harry Fiske on the bass and Josh Green on the drums.

Congratulations to the show’s Director, Karen Booth, Musical Director Mark A.J. Checkley, Choreographer Nikki Scott, P and C Sound/Lighting, Wardrobe created by Sheila Goodall assisted by the cast, and the amazing Props also by Sheila Goodall, with Sue Caller and Sam Wright.

The set was provided by Scenetec Ltd, the marketing by Becky Green, and the warm welcome to the event was provided by the Front of House hosts Lisa Malkin and Helen South.