Oliver Ormson is currently playing the role of Lucas in the first-ever UK tour of The Addams Family. He was kind enough to chat all things Addams, career and Harry Potter with me.
Have you always wanted to be a performer or did you have a different dream when you were younger?
I think when I was really young I wasn’t too bothered, I think the first ever thing I wanted to be when I was really young was a policeman. But I was interested in football from a young age cause of my dad so probably a footballer really… But my mum was interested in amateur dramatics so I went that way when I was older. About the age of 16/17 I decided I wanted to be an actor.
Can you explain a little about The Addams Family and how your character Lucas fits into it?
The Addams Family is the classic everyone knows but it’s ten years on, and in this story, Wednesday (Carrie Hope Fletcher) is all grown up and she’s fallen in love with an American boy from a normal background and I’m that American boy!
So the Addams invite the Bieneke’s round for dinner because Wednesday’s got a little secret and it’s a secret she’s kept from her parents. So the main premise is inviting a ‘normal’ family into the Addams family mansion where there’s all sort of ghouls and ghosts going on.
Lucas Beineke is that all-American boy but he likes the darkness and he’s intrigued by it. He’s come from a normal family and the first time he meets Wednesday she shoots a pigeon with an arrow and it lands by his feet in central park and he just falls in love with her straight away cause she’s so different from the background he grew up with. So Lucas looks all clean cut but he does have a hint of the darkness as well!
Are you anything like Lucas and what drew you to the role?
It was more the project that drew me in. It’s the first time it’s been done in the UK by a professional company. It’s very rare these days that you get the opportunity to create your own role. So I am the first professional Lucas in the UK arnd Ireland so it’s really wow because I get to create and make things which doesn’t happen a lot. Especially on a tour which has been done time and time again; they tell you where to stay on a straight line but I had the chance to play with it which was amazing.
Probably the thing that I’d say that is the Oliver Ormson in Lucas is that I’ve tried to make him a bit dorky. Just a bit silly in that embarrassing phase where you go round to your partner’s house for the first time as a teenager and you’re sort of tripping over your words cause you’re trying to impress so it’s that sort of dorkiness. He just reacts to situations and doesn’t really think about it; he’s trying to be cool so he’s a bit dorky!
Who else besides yourself would you like to see play Lucas?
Oh wow, that’s really hard! I think it would have to be, and I know it’s cliched cause he’s massive at the moment, but it’d have to be Ben Platt. You know, he’s a fellow Hufflepuff as well! He tweeted saying that Evan Hansen is a Hufflepuff and I tweeted saying so is Lucas Beineke so I think we have the same sort of taste. I think he has that character cause he’s done it everyday like that twerpiness and he would sing it like an absolute dream! Unfortunately he’d probably be much better than me but as long as I’m gone and out the picture he can happily have it!
You’ll have to switch and be Evan while he’s Lucas!
Yes! Please make it happen, I’ll get you tickets to the opening night if you can make it happen!
Who in the show would you say is most like their character?
I would say Cameron Blakely who plays Gomez Addams cause he is crazy. He’s full of voices and full of character and he has a little daughter himself, a beautiful little daughter who’s three or four and you can see he has that protective side that Gomez has in the show over Wednesday. But he’s also that embarrassing dad so I’d definitely go with Cameron as Gomez.
If you were one of the ancestors, what would your crazy cause of death be?
This is really cool… erm maybe something silly when I was drunk or something? Yeah something silly like falling in a lake and my ancestors prop would be a can of lager or a pint!
What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not on stage?
This sounds quite cliched but I like to keep fit cause you never know when this jobs gonna end. I do a lot of dancing, not so much in this show but I’ve danced in other shows so I try and keep that up. I don’t wanna relax too much to think I just have to sing and act cause the next job you might wanna do could have a a tap number in it or something like that.
Yeah just try and keep fit really, go to the gym and I’m quite a boyish boy so watch Netflix or football or play games like video games so very cliched unfortunately!
I know you’re a big Harry Potter fan, so if you could bring anyone or anything from the Potter world into our, what or who would you bring?
I would just like a wand. You know, just the elder wand would be fine, the casual elder wand! That’s what I’d bring because I was thinking about the invisibility cloak and stuff but I think after a while that might get a bit boring!
And if you have the wand you can get other stuff with it!
Exactly, like with the wand you can do crazy spells!
Well that’s a lovely segue as my next question is: what show would you wish to do if you had a magic wand?!
As I mentioned I love Dear Evan Hansen but I’ve always wanted to play Fiyero in Wicked. I watched it and thought it was really magical and cool and people always say to me “you could play Fiyero, you can do that!” so if I actually do it I can shut those people up… in a nice way
If you could go back to any era, when would you go to any why?
I love the 80s. I was born in the 80’s, well only just by like 2 months in ’89 so I always claim that I’m an 80s child but to properly go and experience it and to actually live in that time I’d love. And I’ll see my mum and dad in their 20s which would be so weird!
Finally, what is your number one piece of advice for an aspiring performer?
There’s this amazing Bryan Cranston philosophy and he says to just act, just get yourself out there and act. Even if it’s just a local drama group, just hone your skills. Even if you’re doing an amateur production of Fiddler on the Roof you’re gonna learn things from that, you’re gonna be with people that have maybe done professional work before. So I’d say just act and be proactive and productive cause then you learn.
As professional actors we have stories of how we once did am dram and how that helped. So everyone starts somewhere. I think some people think that you come out of college and you go straight into the West End and all of a sudden you’re just a professional actor but you learn a lot of things before that. So just be creative and play and try things out, you’ll always learn things.
Do that and make sure it’s what you want to do and then pursue college or drama school which is an important route in my opinion but you can still do it without that. So go and learn, go and be proactive and just hone you’re skills.
Thank you so much to Oliver for taking the time to chat to me. The Addams Family runs at the New Victoria Theatre until the 30th September before continuing on it’s tour.