Weymouth Pavilion

STILL going strong, pop band group Madness have it all, spectacular talent, energy and longevity that keeps their music alive more than 30 years after they first bounced onto the scene.

This new production of a show that first saw the light of day in 2002, is full of their sparkling hit songs, is alive with music and street dance routines that capture the spirit of the age with a bounce and enthusiasm that is hard to beat.

From the opening chords of Our House, Baggy Trousers and Wings of a Dove, to the last notes of It Must be Love and My Girl, it is all about Madness in more ways than one as it tells the story of a teenage boy who makes a big decision on his 16th birthday and spends his life reliving the moment and wishing it could change.

Told in real time and flashback, it’s a tale of temptation and love, mistakes and memories which are full of emotion, celebration and occasional tears.

Jason Kajdi is brilliant in the leading role as Joe Casey, a London boy whose father he never knew but who spent time in prison, while Deena Payne, formerly Viv Hope from Emmerdale, plays his mother who is left to raise her son on her own.

Britain’s Got Talent winner, the dancer George Sampson, is Joe’s dodgy friend and Sophie Matthew provides the love interest in a strong story line that is a million miles away from the old-style musical shows where everything is full of sweetness and light.

A marvellous four piece band and a seriously strong sound system keep the audience on their toes all evening in a show that just keeps going with amazing choreography and pace.

The large cast, ever changing scenes and costumes make this a quality musical you cannot ignore and if the story gets a bit confusing at times as it leaps back and forth in time, the young actors maintain their roles throughout.

The production continues for the rest of the week including a matinee on Saturday.