Our House Axes Month's Worth of Friday MatineesDate: 1 November 2002
The newly opened Madness musical Our House has pulled its weekday matinees for the next month. From today, 1 November 2002, there will be no performance on Fridays at 5.00pm until 6 December 2002, when normal scheduling will resume.
A spokesman for the show explained to Whatsonstage.com that the cancellations were a result of needing more time to rehearse the first and second understudies for leading man Michael Jibson. In Tim Firth's Sliding Doors-style story, Jibson's north London lad character Joe Casey is on-stage for almost the entire evening, with quick changes between his alter egos, 'good Joe' and 'bad Joe', adding to the technical demands of the performance.
Because of the complexity of the part, only Jibson is currently able to manage it fully. "If we had a problem with Michael, we'd have to cancel the show," the spokesman said. The extra rehearsal time will be used to drill understudies Chris Thatcher and Andrew Spillett.
Our House, based around the greatest hits of 1980s ska band Madness, opened to mixed reviews at the West End's Cambridge Theatre this past Monday, 28 October 2002. In addition to Jibson, the 26-strong cast includes Oliver Jackson, Richard Frame, Lesley Nicol and Ian Reddington.
The musical features more than 20 of Madness' hits - including "One Step Beyond", "House of Fun", "My Girl" and the title song - as well as two new numbers ("Back in My Arms Again" and "A Simple Equation") which the group has written especially for the show. It's directed by Matthew Warchus and designed by Rob Howell with choreography by Peter Darling.
- by Terri Paddock