With a fictional ‘Sliding Doors’ style storyline, and featuring songs by 80’s chart-toppers Madness, the musical comedy is set in London’s diverse and vibrant Camden Town.
Selected to provide the stage automation for the new production, AVW Controls designed and manufactured the control systems, carried out the automation fit-up, technical rehearsals and provided training for the theatre’s technicians. AVW’s award-winning Impressario automation system controls a total of 22 moving pieces, including six rotating doors, flying and tracking house portals, a motorised bridge, a travelator and a sliding door at the rear of the stage.
Stephen Rebbeck, Our House production manager, said: “Impressario is central to the show and, as there are so many moving elements, it was necessary for us to have a control system that is both highly versatile and easy to operate. AVW also helped to train our operators to work with the system so the scenery will move when it is meant to with absolute precision allowing, the audience to enjoy the show as it is meant to be seen!”
Whilst AVW has an undisputed reputation for designing, manufacturing and installing first-class automation, Our House still presented challenges. “The biggest challenge that we faced,” explained Anton Woodward, managing director of AVW Controls, “was working simultaneously in Madrid on the Spanish production of Phantom of the Opera. The London team and I liaised via email while they put together the designs for Our House – technology is a wonderful thing!”
The show’s story revolves around Joe, his girlfriend Sarah and the night he commits a petty to crime to impress her. At this point the story splits in two and explores both what would happen to him if he were prosecuted for the offence and what would happen if he escaped from the police. The production features more than 20 songs by Madness, including House of Fun, My Girl, It Must Be Love, the title song Our House, plus two new songs written by the band especially for the show.
Although Madness don’t star in Our House, as associate producers the group has been very much involved in the whole process of bringing Our House to the West End stage. With a script by Tim Firth and under the acclaimed direction of Matthew Warchus (of ‘Art’ and RSC fame) the musical has not only impressed the Madness band members, but it has also been enjoyed by audiences and critics alike.
For further information about rigging and scenery motion control, telephone Anton Woodward on +44 (0)1379 898340, fax +44 (0)1379 898386, or email [email protected]. Alternatively visit www.avw.co.uk.