Sarah Miatt attended a matinée of The Addams Family and then took part in a round table cast interview. Below are the questions and answers from the panel.
Samantha Womack (SW) Carrie Hope Fletcher (CHF) Les Dennis (LD) Cameron Blakeley (CB)
HOW USEFUL WAS IT TO HAVE THE ORIGINAL CHARLES ADDAMS CARTOONS WHEN YOU WENT INTO REHEARSAL IN RELATION TO YOUR CHARACTER?
CB– Well it was interesting to look at them as a reference but we didn’t use much of it. They’re all very dark and spindly and weird-looking.
LD– They were more important to Diego (Pitarch) our designer. We all had our own ideas as to what the characters are. I grew up watching the original black and white show. It’s lovely to be creating our own versions of the characters especially since we’re not following another cast.
SW– I used the cartoons a bit but mainly because I like the way she was rooted in them. She didn’t have legs or feet and that’s how the Morticia walk started. I didn’t know that because I had been watching the black and white series and the Hollywood movies. It was interesting that it came from her being rooted to the ground which made her less human. So the physicality helped a bit.
CHF– Design makes the physicality completely change. Once you’ve got the costume on it’s often very different to the way you thought you’d move.
LD– The cartoons are quite dark
CHF– But the thing with The Addams Family is that they don’t ever do anything malicious, the implication is always there, but they don’t hurt anyone.
SW– And they think they’re completely normal and that the outside world is just horrid and has disintegrated into chaos, so they feel very proud of their sort of mantra which is honesty and truth.
CHF– They’re so functional, they base all of their relationships on truth and honesty and nothing is taboo. The relationship that Gomez and Morticia have is so sexual and the kids don’t know any different which is why Wednesday is the horniest teenager ever.
CARRIE, YOU SAID YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO PLAY WEDNESDAY. HOW DOES IT FEEL NOW YOU’RE DOING IT?
CHF– I sobbed when I came off stage the first night, just went into my dressing room and had a little cry. It’s incredible. I’d never heard of The Addams Family (musical) until a few years ago. Until I was asked to do a concert with Andrew Lippa. It was his first concert over here. He needed another female for the concert so my agent was contacted and he was shown video of me singing as Eponine in West End Live and he said, I’ll give her ‘Pulled’ from The Addams Family and I fell in love with it, couldn’t get enough of it. I downloaded the soundtrack and looked stuff up and devoured everything I could. I loved the Addams Family, the movies I was obsessed with when growing up. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know there was a musical so after the concert I said to my agent, if there’s ever even a whiff of a rumour that it’s coming to the West End please make sure I’m first in line to audition for Wednesday and it happened unbelievably.
IS THERE ANY OF YOU IN YOUR CHARACTERS?
LD– Well Fester is quite childlike and I like to go through my life being childlike. I’ve got a little kid so I have to be childlike. Fester is in the family but he resists the darkness that’s why he’s pulled towards the moon.
CB– It’s nice to be able to put a lot of myself, who is stupid into it. It’s just silliness. I love being silly and childish SW– I can vouch for that
CB– Gomez is me with a blacked out beard and a Spanish accent.
CHF– Yeah, especially this version of Wednesday. Usually she’s 8 or 12 years old but this time she’s 18 and falling in love which we can all relate to. Anyone can relate to that story of bringing home a partner to meet your family and not knowing how they’re going to react. I was a very intense teenager I think, with boys. With any normal teenaged girl it’s normality until she falls in love, then craziness. Wednesday already has the craziness so it’s amplified. You need to give her a wide berth, especially with a crossbow in her hand.
SW– I always like seeing a version of myself if I had the confidence to be like that. So you get the chance to try out part of your personality that you wish you could be more like. She doesn’t make small talk and she’s very still and very contained. I’m not at all like that. I always fill gaps nervously with dialogue. I’m a people pleaser so there’s something quite liberating playing her.
SAMANTHA, I UNDERSTAND YOU HAD SOME RESERVATIONS ABOUT DOING THIS. WHAT WERE THEY AND WHAT SOLD YOU?
SW– I’d just come out of Eastenders and I know tours are hard. I hadn’t had any understanding of what The Addams Family (musical) was, so in my mind I imagined a family generic show. In my mind it was going to take more than that and I had my perception of what it would be. They sent me the book and I was totally spellbound because it was so much more than I expected it to be. It was moving, it was a bit twisted and it was much more layered than I thought it would be and I started doing the audition and she started to come out and I thought, this is going to be easy.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SCENE?
CHF– The whole ‘Happy/Sad’ going into ‘Crazy Like Me’ sequence.
SW– The end for us.
CB– Yes that’s sweet.
SW– The suitcase scene which is poignant and actually we don’t get to engage in much melodrama because the story is Wednesday growing up so it’s a chance for us to get some melodrama.
LD– I love when the family are finally allowed to go back into the crypt and also the surprise of Lurch.
Sarah asked: IF YOU COULD PLAY ANOTHER ROLE IN THE MUSICAL WHAT WOULD IT BE?
LD– Thing, I’d get the night off.
SW– Grandma, she makes me laugh.
CHF– I’d love to be Lurch because he just watches over all of the scenes. It would be really interesting because I’m sure I’d see a million things I haven’t seen before.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE THE AUDIENCE TAKE AWAY FROM THE SHOW HAVING SEEN IT?
LD– I hope they walk away entertained and I know they have been. I also hope they’ve been moved and they go out humming the tunes.
The Addams Family is currently touring and arrives at The Mayflower Southampton 18th -29th July book tickets via the official tour site here theaddamsfamily.co.uk
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