Director: Matthew White
Book: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice
Music and Lyrics: Andrew Lippa
Reviewed by: Ruth Jepson
Wednesday Addams is all grown up and has fallen in love… with a normal boy.
This is not acceptable, as fans of the nineties film (or the sixties tv show, both based on Charles Addams macabre comics of the 1930s) will know. As Wednesday herself says, “We’re us, and they… are from Ohio.” And so a ‘meet the parents’ dinner party turns into a farcical effort as Wednesday (YouTuber, actress and author Carrie Hope Fletcher) and her father Gomez (Cameron Blakely) desperately try not to reveal an impending engagement to mother Morticia (Samantha Womack, of Kingsmen: the Secret Service and EastEnders fame). All this with a backdrop of a brother who just wants his sister to torture him again, and an uncle who is in love with the moon.
To say that The Addams Family doesn’t have the easiest plot to follow is a bit of an understatement. The story does seem to jump around a fair bit, and a lot of the issues raised seem convoluted yet are solved before they have really developed. But then again, it’s not exactly a family that you expect to make sense, is it? The music is catchy and there are no bad songs. Particular gems are Crazier Than You, a duet by Wednesday and boyfriend Lucas (Oliver Ormson); The Moon and Me, a love song by Uncle Fester (Les Dennis) and the slightly incestuous but nevertheless heart-tugging What If from Pugsley (Grant McIntyre).
The family are well cast, with Womack in particular absolutely nailing the character and mannerisms of Morticia. A surprise delight is Blakely as Gomez, initially seeming far too silly to be the suave Spaniard we all know and love, but who wins the audience over with impeccable comic timing and flamboyance. They work well together, and an easy chemistry is apparent. It is a shame then that the much-anticipated tango between the pair is somewhat passionless. Even Lurch (Dickon Gough) does a much better version. Far more convincingly loved up are Hope Fletcher and Ormson, who are a delight to see share the stage, perfectly portraying a young couple in the first flush of love.
Visually the show is amazing. The set is just the right side of dilapidated, with smooth changes facilitated by the cast, and it is worth seeing the show for the sumptuous costumes alone – designer Diego Pitarch has outdone himself here, especially with the historically themed Addams Ancestors of the chorus, whose ragged apparel is spot on.
Is The Addams Family going to be a runaway hit? Probably not. But a fun night out with the possibility of becoming a cult classic? Absolutely. Practise your finger clicking and join in – They’re creepy and they’re kooky…
Runs until Saturday 8 July 2017 | Image: Contributed