The Annex

TIM Firth’s ‘Madness musical’ introduced us to some new kids on the block at Southampton University. Augmented by some ‘old hands’, Lydia Edge directed a show that simply burst with energy. Claire Mason’s choreography was vibrant and the enthusiastic cast were so obviously having a ball, filling the sparse stage with movement and colour, so wonderful to watch. The story of Good-Joe/Bad-Joe, played by the very impressive Maciek Shasha, is occasionally difficult to follow but the songs and dance sequences carry the show. In Lucy Mellenfield the company has gained an exceptional talent, singing beautifully as girlfriend Sarah. John Wilders was perfect as Joe’s deceased dad but Victoria Howard (his mum) unfortunately suffered, as others did, with poor sound quality. This included Joanna West as bad-girl Reecey. Jonny Talsma –James, Nick Ong, Phoebe Armstrong and Harriet Hutchins were lively as the couple’s best friends, and Jamie Lumsden was a suitably obnoxious Mr Pressman.

Alan Johns