Writers: Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman
Composer & Lyricist: Andrew Lippa
Director: Matthew White
Reviewer: Tom Finch
Everyone’s favourite spooky family is back and they’ve gone musical. First seen on Broadway in 2010 The Addams Family – The Comedy Musical has finally arrived in Britain and is on tour.
The plot is simple enough, young Wednesday is bringing a boy, Lucas Beineke, home for dinner, with his parents, to meet her family. Of course, chaos and often hilarity ensues. Dutiful husband Gomez is sworn to secrecy but it seems the young lovers have marriage plans and aren’t quite ready for the overbearing mum, Morticia to know. Can Gomez keep a secret from his wife? Will the Beinekes survive a night in the Addams household? And will Uncle Fester ever be united with his true love?
In truth, the story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and that’s no bad thing here. There’s a light-hearted sense of campy fun that pervades the entire evening. Designer Diego Pitarch’s effective set has all the gloomy shadows and dank walls that one would expect.
Director, Matthew White has assembled a fantastic cast. As Gomez and Morticia, Cameron Blakely and Samantha Womack are excellent. They take on the iconic roles, giving the audience all of the idiosyncrasies that they are expecting yet still find a way to make them their own. It genuinely looks like they’re having a good time on stage together.
Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday is a revelation. With a killer voice and superb comic timing she steals every scene she’s in. This reviewer will be watching her career with interest.
Les Dennis is great fun as Uncle Fester, his performance is good enough to make his character feel a little underwritten. That brings us to the book. There are a lot of great one-liners but at times the show does run away from the writers. Act two is a bit of a mess structurally and it’s down to the talent of the cast that it’s still very enjoyable.
Andrew Lippa’s songs are decent but with the exception of the opening aren’t particularly catchy or memorable. It’s unlikely this show will be appearing in future additions of The Great American Song Book.
White keeps a loose grip on things, meaning that some parts lag and others lack the magic and spectacle that would tip this show over the edge into something wonderful. As it is, it feels like a very, very well put together pantomime. That’s by no means a derogatory comment. It simply means that this show, while great fun, may not stay with you for the rest of your life… Or beyond.
Runs until 20 May 2017 then touring | Image: Matt Martin