Slick costume changes, cleverly designed sets, creative choreography and all our favourite Madness tunes – Our House, the Musical, was everything we love about Madness and more.

Our House, written by Tim Firth, tells the story of Londoner Joe who, on his 16th birthday in an effort to impress his girlfriend, Sarah, makes a decision between right and wrong; a decision that will impact the rest of his life. From that ‘sliding doors’ moment we follow two versions of Joe, one good and one bad, all accompanied by the upbeat, vibrant music of Madness from Baggy Trousers to It Must Be Love.

Alex Harwood and Bronte Tucker delivered polished performances as Joe and Sarah respectively. Alex had some particularly challenging costume changes, sometimes on stage right in from of our eyes, hidden cleverly behind different scenery or props.

Amelia McCleave’s portrayal of Joe’s long-suffering mother was captivating – we were sighing along with her when bad Joe made some rather questionable choices. Mr Child-Cavill, playing Joe’s deceased father, filled the stage with drama and moodiness, trying to reach Joe from beyond the grave. Other notable performances came from Phaedra Van Laar as the villainous Reecey, constantly getting Joe into scrapes, and Fourth Formers Phileas and Freddie, who were a hilarious double-act as Joe’s best friends. Charlotte Walker portrayed the fiendish property mogul Pressman, and Arianwen and Lola were brilliant as Sarah’s fickle, retail therapy-loving friends.

The main cast were supported with great strength and confidence by a number of other pupils from across the School. The music, played by Downside staff, had our feet tapping from the outset and the lighting, managed by pupils, was imaginatively handled. As well as acting in and directing the musical, Mr Child-Cavill was also responsible for the choreography. Each number filled the stage with high-energy dance moves, sometimes with various pupil groups performing different set pieces at the same time resulting in a visual feast.

Clever, moving and highly entertaining.

Click here to see a list of upcoming events at Downside.