Our House, the Olivier Award-winning musical inspired by the greatest hits of Madness, has posted closing notices in London ahead of an anticipated regional tour in early 2004. The show received its world premiere at the West End's Cambridge Theatre on 28 October 2002 (previews from 7 October) and had recently extended booking up to January 2004. It will now finish on 16 August 2003 after a run of ten months.

Billed as "A London Love Story", Our House is a musical comedy with a fictional Sliding Doors-like plotline. The story follows the two courses London lad Joe's life could take after he commits a petty crime to impress his girlfriend, Sarah. The show was nominated for multiple Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards and won the 2003 Olivier for Best New Musical.

Written by Tim Firth, Our House is directed by Matthew Warchus and designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling. The production currently stars Michael Jibson and Julia Gay as Joe and Sarah, while this past week, Madness' lead singer Suggs completed a limited ten-week season playing the role of Joe's Dad.

The stage 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 - "Back in My Arms Again" and "Simple Equation" - which Madness wrote especially for the musical.

Commenting on the closure, Tiger Aspect chairman and show producer Peter Bennett-Jones said: "The decision was taken with a heavy heart. It is a terrific show, which well deserved its prestigious Olivier award. It continues to generate a great response from audiences who love this entertaining and engaging show, but these are difficult times, politically and economically, and we are among the casualties. We hope those who have not yet marvelled at seeing Our House will grab the opportunity to do so during the coming weeks."

In a statement, Madness added: "We'd like to express our immense respect and gratitude to everyone who took part in the creation and production of the show. It has been an amazing experience working alongside so many talented and passionate people. The belief and commitment from all at Tiger Aspect, the creative team, the exceptional cast right through to the staff at the Cambridge has been total. We thank you all and wish you well in the future."

- by Terri Paddock