Musical with message

Kirsty McCorkindale (16, front centre) with Yuta Honda (15, front left) and Theo Baumfield (14, front right), who play Sarah, Good Joe and Bad Joe, and  the rest of the cast of the Wakatipu High School production Our House - The Madness Musical, which opens at the Queenstown Memorial Centre tonight. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Kirsty McCorkindale (16, front centre) with Yuta Honda (15, front left) and Theo Baumfield (14, front right), who play Sarah, Good Joe and Bad Joe, and the rest of the cast of the Wakatipu High School production Our House - The Madness Musical, which opens at the Queenstown Memorial Centre tonight. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.

Wakatipu High School's annual theatre production, which opens tonight at the Queenstown Memorial Centre, tackles a serious subject many will relate to.

More than 100 pupils are involved in the staging of Our House - The Madness Musical, written by Tim Firth with music by English band Madness, which was prominent in England in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Director Kate Moetaua said there were about 50 pupils in the cast, 15 in the band and another 40 in the production and backstage crews.

Our House tells the story of Joe Casey, a Camden, London, lad who, trying to impress Sarah, the girl he loves, breaks into a building on the night of his 16th birthday.

At that point the role of Joe splits in two - Good Joe, played by Yuta Honda, and Bad Joe, played by Theo Baumfield - and the story follows the paths Joe's life could take after that fateful night.

One choice will lead to a criminal record and social exclusion while the other will see him lose Sarah, the love of his life, played by Kirsty McCorkindale.

The musical follows the two paths over the following seven years, with Joe's deceased father watching over him the whole time.

Mrs Moetaua said the school looked for something ''a little bit different'' and given the show had not been widely performed by schools in New Zealand it was ''nice to look at something new.''

''The music is really famous ... we've had a lot of interest from the students' parents and the students have grown to really love the music.''

Work had been ongoing behind the scenes for about two months, with auditions held in March before rehearsals began.

• Our House - The Madness Musical opens at the Queenstown Memorial Centre tonight and runs until Friday. Tickets for the show, which starts at 7.30pm, cost $27 for adults and $12 for students, available from eventfinder.co.nz.