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Our House
Our House

It’s one thing taking on a massive role for your first lead part in a show – but it’s quite another taking on two huge parts in a musical which will mean him making a whopping 29 costume changes over the course of each performance.

And that is exactly what 16-year-old John Ellis is undertaking as he prepares to play Joe Casey in Marlpool URC Theatre Company’s production of the Madness musical Our House from October 21-25.

Derby Grammar School for Boys pupil John, from Loscoe, has been a member of the theatre company for most of his life, first treading the boards as a toddler.

After various roles over the years he was chosen for the lead in Our House back in March and has been working hard to learn the huge part ever since.

The story of Our House involves the main character, Joe Casey, splitting in to two in a Sliding Doors style, and the audience is taken on two contrasting stories of how his life would work out depending on one big decision as a teenager.

“It’s really exhausting playing Bad Joe and Good Joe but it’s great fun,” said John.

“I’m on stage almost the entire show, and I have very little time to change costume, mostly under a minute before I have to get back on!”

Marlpool URC Theatre Company is very much a family-orientated group, with John’s parents, Stuart and Lindsay, long-term members, and his on-stage parents in Our House being played by husband and wife Simon and Alison Owen, along with lots of other family connections that are to be found throughout the company.

The musical itself is sure to appeal to theatre-goers of all ages.

Featuring the timeless music of Madness, no audience could resist tapping their feet along to hits such as Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love, Driving In My Car and, of course, Our House, as well as countless other classics.

The crew is led by producer and musical director Alison Bailey.

Our House runs from Tuesday, October 21, through to Saturday, October 25.

The performances will take place from 7.15pm at Marlpool United Reformed Church Community Hall.

Tickets are on sale from the box office on 01773 769765, priced at £8.

The company has an age range of 6 to 85 and it celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.