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Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 12:00 GMT
Madness musical hits London
Madness arrive at the premiere
Our House contains a selection of Madness hits
A musical based on the songs of pop group Madness has opened with a star-studded première in London's West End.

Celebrities turned out in force to see the opening of Our House, which uses the band's hit songs to tell the story of two teenagers' lives in north London.

Denise van Outen at premiere
Madness fan Denise van Outen was in the audience
Among those praising the show was composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who hailed it as "the most impressive debut by a musical director I have seen in my career".

Well-known faces at the Cambridge Theatre launch included David Baddiel, Denise van Outen, Eddie Izzard, Emma Bunton, Harry Enfield, Chris Tarrant and Sarah Lancashire.

Our House tells the two different life stories of Joe, played by Michael Jibson, and his girlfriend Sarah (Julia Gay), depending on the path he takes after committing a petty crime.

Nutty boys

Madness's best known songs from their catalogue of 17 top 10 hits in the 1970s and 1980s have been been woven into the plot by writer Tim Firth.

The result is a treat for fans of tunes like My Girl, It Must Be Love, Baggy Trousers, Embarrassment and the show's title song. It also includes two new Madness compositions.

The cast received a standing ovation before being joined on stage by the group, led by frontman Suggs, aka Graham McPherson.

Lord Lloyd-Webber at the premiere
Lord Lloyd-Webber hailed the show as "tremendous"
Suggs lived up to the Camden band's "nutty boys" image when he walked on stage with a traffic cone on his head.

He said : "I am very proud. This shows you can take the man out of the street but you can not take the street off his head."

Bassist Mark Bedford added: "It was fantastic. We are just delighted with the way everything worked."

Co-singer Chas Smash said: "We have been working very hard on this on trying to get it off the ground since 1999."

Lord Lloyd-Webber, the man behind musicals like Cats and Phantom of the Opera, praised the musical's director Matthew Warchus.

"It was tremendous and the name of Matthew Warchus is one we will see many times in the future," he said.


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See also:

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25 Feb 99 | Entertainment
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30 Jan 02 | Entertainment
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