A week or so back the lovely Andy took a bunch of us to see Our House - the Madness musical. I'd heard good reports of it from friends who had been before and the guest spot on the Royal Variety Show a week or two earlier had looked promising. And I wasn't disappointed.
The plot was a Sliding Doors kind of a thing - a split timeline based on a single 'what if he'd run/what if he's stayed' moment. One was a life of crime, the other the straight and narrow. The same actors play out both scenarios as you'd expect. Only I wasn't too sure in the end which had chose the better path; the life of crime certainly seemed to have it's up sides.
Most (all?) of the Madness hits were there (21 odd?) without too much use of a crowbar - you know, that crass spoken thing that Mamma Mia does a la "Chiquitita, tell me what's wrong..." The one notable exception was perhaps Night Boat to Cairo that somehow found our happy Camdenites in a Las Vegas nightclub (why?!)
Baggy Trousers was especially good, Our House got the rousing anthem treatment it deserved and House Of Fun was genuinely funny.
I sat next to the rather wonderful Ian and, bless him, he thought that there were two actors playing the lead role not just one. Being such an old friend it would be disingenuous of me to suggest that anything but the Magic of Theatre played a part in his deception.
The show is a hit though. Worth the money (not that I actually paid, you understand) and proof, if it were needed, that the Madness songs have largely stood the test of time.