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Summer Youth Project cast raise the roof
IT WAS difficult to sit still when the cast of this year’s Summer Youth Project took to the stage.
I have never considered myself a Madness fan, but watching nearly 200 nine to 21-year-olds belting out the title track at the beginning of Our House the Madness Musical at the Wyvern Theatre made me realise I was in for a good night.
The show tells the story of teenager Joe Casey, who takes the girl of his dreams, Sarah, on a date on his sixteenth birthday.
In an effort to impress her, he breaks into a building site overlooking his home in Casey Street.
The show then divides into two separate stories showing the consequences of a split-second decision he makes while on the building site.
Christopher Baker, who plays the role of Joe, had the audience in the palm of his hand as we watched the ups and downs of his life. He took us through a whole range of emotions, from laughter to extreme sadness. I even had a lump in my throat in one of the final scenes.
His girlfriend Sarah, played by Roxanne Appleby-Dymond, had an impressive voice and hit all the right notes with renditions of the Madness hits.
She too was convincing in her role and both showed they have the talent to appear on stage for years to come.
Joe’s mum and dad, played by Kerrie Scarff and John Keating, kept up the high-standards of acting and singing. Although they were playing roles much older than themselves, they were completely believable.
Joe and Sarah’s friends, played by Fraser Green, Carli Green, Abbie Simms and Georgia Matthews, added some comedy to the mix too and were enjoyable to watch.
The show took us through 16 Madness numbers, and each one was delivered with as much enthusiasm as the others.
The highlights included Our House, with all the performers dancing and singing in the aisles and on the stage.
And the young performers also excelled themselves with their high energy dancing in Baggy Trousers.
The technical side of the show was professional too; there was clever use of staging and appropriate lighting.
There was a small problem with sound in the first act, where some of the actors could not be heard properly, but this was fixed during the interval and the rest of the show ran smoothly.
Since watching the show, I have had the title track, Our House, going round my head on repeat.
The young performers did the band proud and have certainly turned me into a Madness fan.
Our House runs at the Theatre until Sunday. Tickets cost £12-£15. Phone 01793 524481 or visit wyverntheatre.org.uk.
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