OUR HOUSE: Welcome To The House Of Fun!
Four saxophones, two trumpets, one trombone, a bunch of keyboards, a lot of guitars, a set of drums and percussion, a creative and stage management team and eighteen actors equals the 'Our House' rehearsal room crew!
Week one involved all of the above getting better acquainted, producing some fabulous music, reaching page 40 in the script....all whilst consuming an awful lot of tea, coffee and cake. (A Meet & Greet, two cast birthdays and generous baked donation from our tour Musical Director... we're not just being greedy, honest!)
Reading the script is one thing but hearing and seeing it being put into motion has been something else entirely. I have realised that this production has everything a great show should encompass. A fantastic musical score with many gloriously comedic moments while also being beautifully heartwarming, utterly emotional and strangely nostalgic. I have ached profusely in the past five days, partially due to hysterical laughter and partially as a result of setting the choreography to the opening number! Yes, music, acting AND dance...it has been a busy week!
As we have been working chronologically through the script it's incredible to see how much ground we have covered in such a short period of time. Our creative team, Pete (Director), Dai (Musical Director) and Fran (Choreographer) have been putting us through our paces as we set our minds back a few years (quite a few in my case!) and sent ourselves back to high school! What better band to do that with but 'Madness'? I personally have thoroughly enjoyed strutting about as a sassy albeit slightly 'clueless-with-lots-of-attitude' teenager while singing and listening to the classic tunes of 'Baggy Trousers', 'My Girl' and, of course, 'Our House'.
One of the joys of the first week was witnessing a group of actor-musicians bring such a high level of performance and musicianship so early on in the rehearsal process. Already there are some incredible sounds emerging from the band with some particularly fierce sax solos, unforgettable guitar riffs and...my personal favourite....a spectacular couple of cameos from the 'shaky egg'! Joking aside, I have a strong feeling that this is going to be great! A lovely, jovial company, an awesome show, an extremely welcoming public house...yes, 'The Greyhound', I'm talking about you....and an abundance of baked goods....."It must be love, love, love!"
All in all I would say that it's been a fabulous start which should set a precedent for the remainder of the tour. So I hope that I have given you something to whet your appetites and look forward to reporting updates from the 'Our House' crowd. Follow us on Twitter @OurHouseUKTour for all the day to day shenanigans!