Suggs (pictured at last week's Oliviers ceremony with playwright Tim Firth who wrote the book for the musical) takes over from Ian Reddington as the deceased father and moral conscience of leading man Joe (played by Micheal Jibson, who was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical in both the Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Awards).
Billed as "A London Love Story", the musical comedy has a fictional Sliding Doors-like plotline. It's a modern-day morality tale about young Joe, who commits a petty crime to impress his girlfriend Sarah (Julia Gay). After the crime, the story follows the two courses Joe's life would have taken had he a) stayed to face the music when the police arrived, or b) bunked the law and made a run for it.
Also in the current cast of Our House are Richard Frame, Oliver Jackson, Tameka Empson, Andrea Francis and Lesley Nicol. The musical is directed by Matthew Warchus and designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling.
The show features more than 20 of Madness' hits, including "One Step Beyond", "House of Fun", "My Girl", "Baggy Trousers" and the title song. There are also two new songs, which Madness wrote especially for the musical: "Back in My Arms Again", the latter sung by Joe's Dad, who will be played by Suggs.
Our House opened at the Cambridge Theatre on 28 October 2002 (previews from 7 October) and is currently taking bookings up to 27 September 2003.
- by Terri Paddock