Performing Arts learners bring down Our House

The cast of Our House during rehearsals

Level 3 Performing Arts learners from the Grimsby Institute pulled on their ‘Baggy Trousers’ and showed the Institute is a ‘House of Fun’ as they brought the hit musical, Our House, featuring the songs of popular Ska band Madness, to life.

Our House, with a book by Tim Firth, proved a hit in the West End, winning the Olivier Award for Best Musical. The learners at the Grimsby Institute brought the full-scale musical to the Grimsby School of Art’s new Theatre, featuring a live band of Music staff and learners.

Our House tells the story of East End teenager, Joe Casey, whose life takes an unexpected twist on his 16th birthday as the audience follows Joe and his friends and family on two different paths, highlighting the good and bad decisions we all make, culminating in a dramatic showdown at his Casey Street home.

The musical was held together by James Hind as Joe Casey. James commanded the stage throughout and pulled the separate storylines together with believable characterisations of the different sides of Joe’s personalities. Georgia Snook played Sarah, the object of Joe’s affections, and their duet of ‘It Must Be Love’ was one of the evening’s highlights.

Comic relief was offered in the support of the leading couple’s friends; Emmo & Lewis, played by James Swain & Ross White, and Angie & Billy, played for the evening performance by Jessamine Vowles & Bethany Stephenson. Jessamine’s comic timing was particularly striking and shone throughout the evening.

Another notable performance came from Brayden Huthwaite, as lovable rogue Reecey. Despite a broken limb, Brayden inhabited his cheeky chappie character and brought energy to the stage every time he hobbled onto the stage.

Our House was Directed by Angela Pearson – Grimsby Institute’s Programme Leader for Theatre and Acting and Matthew Bushell – the Institute’s Learning Practitioner for Creative Arts, with energetic Choreography by Stephanie Singleton – Learning Tutor for BA Performance and Programme Leader for Level 2 Performing Arts.

Other highlights included ‘Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day)/The Sun and the Rain’ which included some impressive quick changes as the separate storylines switched, and ‘Baggy Trousers’, reminding everyone what an impressive catalogue of hit’s Madness has produced.

Cast List of Our House

  • Joe Casey – James Hind
  • Sarah – Georgia Snook
  • Angie – Danielle Dunn (afternoon) Jessamine Vowles (evening)
  • Billy – Olivia Young (afternoon) Bethany Stephenson (evening)
  • Emmo – James Swain
  • Lewis – Ross White
  • Dad – Daniel Stocks
  • Reecey – Brayden Huthwaite
  • Cath Casey – Emily Abbott
  • Mr Pressman – Bailey Ford