Reviewed at: Nottingham’s Theatre Royal
The Addams Family musical arrives in ghoulish fashion for a UK tour. The kooky family originally created by American writer and cartoonist Charles Addams has been seen in various forms, cartoons, TV series, films and a now a stage musical. The stage musical opened on Broadway in 2010 and now plays across the UK.
We join the well-known and well-loved family with Wednesday Addams now a teenager. She’s got a secret that only her father, Gomez, knows. She’s fallen in love with a young boy Lucas who comes from a respectable family. Gomez tries to hide the secret from his cherished wife Morticia until the families meet for dinner with hilarious consequences. It’s a story of love, family, and friendship.
Although the story for me is weak and the first act does feel long. It’s visually a treat to watch. The set is dark and gloomy, Diego Pitarch’s design gives the feel of the Addams household. The costumes are too visually striking. Setting the piece apart and makes the characters instantly recognisable.
Andrew Lippa’s score does feature some good tunes, in particular, ‘When You’re An Addams’, ‘Pulled’, and ‘Crazier Than You’, but for me, many of the songs just weren’t memorable, although lyrically there is some great work. That being said the cast are the stars here, the casting team have got it so right.
Cameron Blakely’s Gomez is perfect. He completely looks the part. The moustache, the eyebrows, and a superb voice. He moves about the stage superbly. Samantha Womack’s Morticia is sexy and superbly fits the role. The tango between both Gomez and Morticia towards the end of the play is brilliant.
Les Dennis is completely unrecognisable as Uncle Fester, this role is really his and he is fantastic throughout. His touching love for the moon is well played. Carrie Hope Fletcher looks and sounds the part as Wednesday, a role she always wanted to play and she more than proves that she’s right for it. Her vocals are the strongest amongst the cast, and ‘Pulled’ is stunning.
Valda Aviks is hilarious as Grandma, she often gets the best lines and comedy moments. Grant McIntyre is brilliant as Pugsley, his vocals are strong and he looks very right for the part. Dale Rapley and Charlotte Page are strong as the Beineke parents. Charlotte has some great moments, especially in the number ‘Full Disclosure’ at the end of the first act. Oliver Ormson is good as Lucas.
Dickon Gough is scene-stealing as Lurch. The tall butler, slow-moving who suddenly bursts out of his shell right at the end. The ensemble is strong and visually striking as the Ancestors, each with a different theme.
One problem I felt with the show, and I’m not sure if it was just because it was the first night of the week in Nottingham was sound levels. Sometimes you couldn’t make out what words were being said and you lost some of the words during the songs.
Overall the show is good fun, superbly cast and enjoyable. The Nottingham audience lapped it up and rose for a deserved standing ovation at the end. I’d expect the show to have a life after the tour, West End? Maybe. The Addams themselves might like the dead but this show has plenty of life in it.
The Addams Family tours the UK until November, click here for more details.