Our House @ the Lowry - Review

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songanddanceman2
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Our House @ the Lowry - Review#1
Posted: 9/20/08 at 5:27am
Our House
The Lowry
19/9/2009

For years rumors have been floating about as to when the 2003 Laurence Olivier Award winner would be staged again, and then the news came we all wanted to hear that in May this year a UK tour of the show would kick off in Birmingham (Good Times)

It always amazed me that Our House was as good as it is or did as poorly as it did in London when it played a mere 10 months in the West End.

Our House has all the signs of been a show which critics would hate, a jukebox musical circulating around Teenagers, but the show is a winner all the way.

The new production is smart in execution and deliverance, the director Matthew Warchus has assembled a fantastic young cast as well as putting together a slick, stylish, energetic production.
The set for the show is different to the West End one, scaled down if you will, but this actually turns out to be a good thing.
The set consists of 6 doors along the back wall and 1 on each wing flat, as the parallel Good and Bad scenes change the doors spin around to black and white to represent the moment we are looking at.
This is massively effective, and with storm clouds projected above and the clever use of lighting the scenes change perfectly.Doors are used all the way through (obviously representing the doors you can go through when you make a choice) from Cell Doors to Church doors.

Smartly the director and Choreographer know when to leave alone, the songs such as Baggy Trousers, Wings Of A Dove, The Sun and The Rain etc are completely unchanged from the West End production.Driving In My Car is also the same with the same car and projection as London.

Not to say that the new productions doesn't offer anything new, act 2 has a new song (NW5) a brilliant ballad which was performed beautifully Miria Parvin as Sarah. The story is also tighter and moves along at warp speed. Not as succesful was the opening of the show.Where the original opened with House Of Fun and the fantastic condom buying scenes, the show now begins with a scene between Joes Mum and Dad and goes straight in to Our House.

The cast are fantastic with a special mention to the ensemble who look like they are having the times of their lives.Brookstein is fine as Joes Dad, but the role is a thankless role with not much to do, he serves more as a narrator.Gwyneth Strong has very little to do which is a shame, but her scenes were strong (accept her accent which went from Irish to Jamaican).

The show all comes down to the young cast though, and what a cast they are.Jenny Fitzpatrick and Sophia Nomvete are hilarious as Sarah's best friend as are Jack Shalloo and Michael Everest as Joe's best friends.However the night belongs to Chris Carswell as Joe who has come straight out of Mountview straight in to a lead role. His performance is brilliant, he dances flawlessly, sings brilliantly and acts like an old pro, he also has star quality radiating from his body, this guy has a HUGE future ahead of him.

Most of the performances are similar to the original (they all have the dvd im guessing) but that's not a bad thing, same as the fact that 60 percent of the show is staged and choreographed the same as London.After all that's the show we fell in love with.

9/10
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#2
Posted: 9/20/08 at 1:57pm
Thanks soo much :)
Cannot wait to see it at Southampton :)
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#2
Posted: 9/20/08 at 2:52pm
I'm glad this new version is worth seeing. I still think it's a crime that the original didnt last that long. I'll be catching this for sure
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#3
Posted: 9/20/08 at 7:07pm
nipping over to sunderland..two weeks tonight - after reading that review i'm now very excited!
**You Can't Beat A Matcham!**
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#4
Posted: 9/21/08 at 9:11am
I'd agree with just about everything SADM2 says. I'm hoping to catch it again in Sheffield this week.
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#5
Posted: 9/21/08 at 7:04pm
Damn i just missed this in Wimbledon- been on the top of my must see list (besides seeing SADM2)- its not coming anywhere near London again I'm sure- anyone got the remaining tour dates handy?
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#6
Posted: 9/22/08 at 7:33am
23rd to 27th sept Sheffield Lyceum
30th Sept 4th October Sunderland Empire
6th to 11th Oct Eastbourne Congress Theatre
13th to 18th Oct Dartford Orchard Theatre
20th to 25th Southampton the Mayflower

You should 100 percent go and watch it
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#7
Posted: 9/22/08 at 7:53am
you can see a few clips of the current cast on their website http://www.ourhousethemusical.co.uk/
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#8
Posted: 9/22/08 at 8:26am
Dartford FAB! I never think of that theatre and its only 30 mins out of town!
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 9/22/08 at 08:26 AM
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#9
Posted: 10/10/08 at 6:19pm
Does anyone know why the show is finishing at the end of October? It seems from all the shows I have been to and the reviews on the wesbite that the whole thing has been very well received and all the theatres I have been to have been packed and there have been standing ovations on every occasion too.
Updated On: 10/10/08 at 06:19 PM
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#10
Posted: 10/11/08 at 5:56am
I wouldn't say its been packed.We went on a friday night and it was about 70 percent full
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#11
Posted: 10/11/08 at 8:14am
In this financial climate would that not be sufficient to keep it in business?

I heard a rumour that they had been looking for a West End theatre for the show
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#12
Posted: 10/11/08 at 11:42am
Sadly after the critical mauling and the way the public stepped away from the original production, the prospects of this tour getting to play town are pretty much nil!.
The original should still be there now- how's about that for a Brit Musical!
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#13
Posted: 10/13/08 at 5:36pm
Amittedly I only saw the original on DVD - but I felt this version was superior. Some people have objected to it being shortened but I felt that was an improvement, I think they could have left House of Fun in but I did think parts of the original dragged a bit.
I can't really see where anyone could fault this production, so full of fun and energy and the cast seem so committed and enthusiastic. The general reaction from those who have seen the show seems incredibly positive and I know many people who have seen Our House repeatedly and in several different venues. As you say, you get a British show and it doesn't get the backing it deserves in my opinion.
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#14
Posted: 10/24/08 at 8:36am
Hey guys..
Just wondered whether there is any merchandise for the show and how much is the programme and brochure (if there is one)
cheers :) x
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#15
Posted: 10/24/08 at 8:42am
I didn't see any i just saw programs
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#16
Posted: 10/24/08 at 8:45am
Theres only the programme and Steve X Factors Cd
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#17
Posted: 10/24/08 at 8:49am
Oh yeah i saw his CD and giggled and walked past
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#18
Posted: 10/24/08 at 9:41am
Thanks :)
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#19
Posted: 10/24/08 at 9:54am
Its a travesty that this tour has been pulled, its one of the best touring shows in a long time
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#20
Posted: 10/24/08 at 10:42am
Wasn't Southampton the last date on the 2008 art of it's tour.
It's done pretty steady business on most of its stops so far, nothing worse than other touring musicals at the moment. Mind a producers dream now would be to get the houses that 'Witches Of Eastwick' is getting!
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#21
Posted: 10/24/08 at 11:01am
im pretty sure it was pulled early a few weeks back,
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#22
Posted: 10/24/08 at 11:05am
No, it closes in Southampton this week and still didn't get to see it!
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#23
Posted: 10/24/08 at 11:11am
Oh yeah I know it closes in Southampton, but it had been going on further im sure, found this thread on DC which mentions it..knew I wasnt going mad

http://www.dresscircle.co.uk/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=2810&posts=57&highlight=Our%20House&highlightmode=1

http://www.whatsonstage.com/board/index.php?showtopic=4707&pid=48195&st=10&#entry48195

Id initially heard through a friend of a friend (yeah i realise how that sounds! lol) who is in the show, maybe its the case they werent going through with additional dates. Either way its a shame as its a quality production
Updated On: 10/24/08 at 11:11 AM
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re: Our House @ the Lowry - Review#24
Posted: 10/24/08 at 11:20am
I agree and I'm still in love with the London show which I got to see twice. Its a shame when a producer doesn't take up extra dates. Its had a good run tho since its Birmingham opening and its just great that a few more thousand people got to see it outside London!
Back to the DVD for us I'm afraid!