P & P Productions, Lighthouse, Poole
Review by Marilyn Barber
This was the musical that made you want to jump up and down – but the audience managed to restrain themselves – although it was difficult as this production was full of life and energy.
The music of Madness, the ska band from Camden Town who had so many hits in the 1970s and 1980s, links the scenes in the story of Joe Casey, who on the night of his 16th birthday makes a decision that will change his life.
In the demanding lead role, Dean Rawson was on stage practically all the time, and he transposed personas from ‘Good Joe’ to ‘Bad Joe’ seamlessly as the story followed the two paths that his character could take.
Chloe Payne as his girlfriend Sarah fizzed with enthusiasm, whilst Libby Russell and Claire Tarrant brimmed with energy as her close friends.
Joe’s mother Kath was played with emotion by Catherine Attridge, and Rossano Sal was solemn and dramatic as his father, who provided narration of the action.
Paul Simkin and Christopher Stowe added lots of support as Joe’s friends, whilst it wasn’t difficult to bristle at the two baddies, Tim Berry as Reecey and Peter Oxborrow as Mr Pressman.
Accolades must go to the director and choreographer Clare Camble-Hutchins as there was a large chorus and dancers who clearly had put in a lot of rehearsal.
Combined with live music, this made a lively and entertaining production.