Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – until 29 July 2017
This production and cast has recently been reviewed by one of the team, but I wanted to see for myself how fun it is. Therefore this review will simply be a revised version, however the sentiment is the same – go see!
The Addams Family, created by American cartoonist, Charles Addams, have been a part of popular culture for decades through a audience-pleasing sitcom, several films and now a musical. The Addams are an eccentric bunch, who live a macabre but family oriented life, unaware that people find them odd. In the musical incarnation it’s all about the family and Wednesday brings home her first boyfriend and his “normal” parents to meet the family.
The designer Diego Pitarch really is to be applauded at creating something so special. With an incredible set and amazing costumes, visually The Addams Family does not disappoint. Completely set in the Addams home, we are immediately transported to their macabre and exciting life. The set is well used with the ghostly ancestors doing the changes, which in themselves were slick and well choreographed.
Lead by Musical Director Andrew Hilton the orchestra, were spectacular, making a wonderfully full sound for such a small team. The music by Andrew Lippa was fitting and exciting and spanned a lot of musical genres from the big musical theatre number “When you’re an Addams” to the up to date pop number “Pulled” and the Latin influences in “Tango De Amor”
What was interesting about this production was that every ensemble member had their own individual character and, as the ghostly Addams relations, were onstage most of the time in one way or another. It was clear that the characters had been well researched and worked upon with every one of these.
Samantha Womack was the perfect Morticia Addams in my mind. Womack completely embodied Morticia from the off. She was ethereal, contained and delivered her lines with a deadpan humour. She particularly shone in her Act 2 number “Just Around The Corner”. Her chemistry with Cameron Blakey as Gomez was electric. Blakey was an energetic Gomez, full of childlike excitement and charm. He was very moving when reminiscing a time when Wednesday was still a child in the song “Happy/Sad”
Les Dennis as Uncle Fester was full of fun and provided the ideal narration for the piece. His song to the moon “The Moon and Me” was delightful. Again his characterisation was spot on and Dennis fully lived up to my high expectation.
However the show belonged to Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday Addams. Her powerhouse voice coupled with her obvious acting talent and enthusiasm for the role made her shine in every scene. She was particularly strong in the numbers “Pulled” and “Crazy Like Me” displaying a huge range of emotions from happy to sad to angry. The chemistry she had with boyfriend Lucas, played to great effect by Oliver Ormson, was very reminiscent of her parents sizzling relationship.
This deserves to be a very successful production that will run and run. It has something for everyone from age 12-112. It’s fun, moving and full of energy. Furthermore there are some strong underlying messages in this show.
A reminder that normal is overrated, but that whatever the situation you should always be true to yourself. Messages which this kooky clan demonstrate with full aplomb! Not to be missed when near you.