Our House, the musical based around the greatest hits of 1980s ska band Madness, receives its world premiere tonight (28 October 2002) at the West End's Cambridge Theatre. The opening date of the £2.5 million musical (originally scheduled for early October) has been twice postponed, with several preview performances cancelled for "technical reasons", but tonight's premiere has been hotly anticipated by fans of both the band and musical theatre.

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, his mates, his girlfriend Sarah and the night Joe commits a petty crime to impress her. After the crime, Our House 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.

The 26-strong cast is led by newcomers Michael Jibson and Julia Gay as Joe and Sarah and also 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.

Our House features a book by playwright Tim Firth and is directed by Matthew Warchus with design by Rob Howell and choreography by Peter Darling.

- by Terri Paddock