Can Hessle Theatre Company break the record?

One snap decision, two parallel timelines, 17 Madness hits and a bid to break a Guinness World Record are all in the mix when Hessle Theatre Company hit the stage at Hull New Theatre this month.

Their version of the award-winning musical Our House plays from 18 – 22 April and challenges local actor Connor Wilson with 29 quick-change costumes as he simultaneously plays two different versions of the same man.

The 20-year-old leading man follows in the footsteps of West End and film star Mike Jibson, who played the same role in the original London production and holds the Guinness World record for his 29 costume changes.

Mike said: “I still have the certificate framed and in my downstairs loo. It was such a massive role.  I played the lead for 10 months, eight shows a week, and I remember being very tired all the time. But it was an amazing start to my career.

“This show is very close to my heart, having originated the lead role. It’s witty, smart and moving, using the songs of the brilliant band Madness to tell a fantastic story of love and friendship with style and humour. 

“I’m thrilled my old theatre company are taking on this beast of a show and they get to share it with my hometown. I’m sure they will have audiences of the wonderful Hull New Theatre dancing in the aisles.”

The show follows the story of Joe on his 16th birthday. A crack of thunder splits him into two and sends his life veering off in different directions. In which life will Joe stay on the straight and narrow so he can save his mum’s future, and finally win the heart of the girl he’s always loved?

Written by Tim Firth, author of Calendar Girls and Kinky Boots, and filled with 17 hits of the band Madness, this hit West End show is a roof-raising crowdpleaser, but something of a head-scratcher for its leading man. 

Connor said: “The first time I ever saw the show I knew it was a part I was desperate to play. I’ve never known another part like it. In the second scene my character, Joe, makes a snap decision which makes the story split into two parallel timelines. From there on in I play two versions of Joe, one good and one bad, depending on his choice, alternating scenes to follow each story to its conclusion.

“I love an acting challenge, but having to play two different versions of the same person is in a different league. I’m hardly offstage and have 29 costume changes as I keep swapping between the roles, the quickest of which has to be done in 4 seconds.”

Recently Conner got the chance to meet Mike, who is now the Patron of Hessle Theatre Company, at a rehearsal, where he shared tips about the role with him and other cast members. 

Connor said: “It was a bit daunting meeting him at first, but Mike is such a humble and easygoing guy.  He gave us loads of inside information about the characters and how the quickest of the costume changes were achieved – with magnets and clock springs.

“And he told us how he was given the lead in Our House on the day he was offered Les Misérables, which he had to turn down to grab the opportunity of the lead role in a brand-new show in London. Fancy turning down Les Mis.”

Tickets are on sale now. You can book at the Hull City Hall box office, call 01482 300 306, or visit to book online.