The Lowry Theatre, Salford – until 9 September 2017
Guest reviewer: Megan Hyland
Over 50 years on from the airing of the TV show of the same name, The Addams Family, the musical comedy is a refreshing look at our favourite kooky family. The story centres around a grown-up Wednesday’s newfound romance, with the Addamses preparing to welcome the family of her new boyfriend for dinner. However, there is a secret looming that threatens the foundations of multiple relationships, and as the night descends into chaos more destructive secrets are revealed.
Although her storyline centres on a love story, Wednesday Addams fans need not despair, as her character remains every bit as daring and discontented as ever. In fact, although the story is an original, written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, the characters are still just as familiar. And this is – in part – due to the attentiveness of the all-star cast. Cameron Blakely and Samantha Womack (of Eastenders fame as Ronnie Mitchell) star as Gomez and Morticia Addams, reviving their passionate and enduring romance. A sultry highlight is their tango scene, both expertly choreographed and performed. Blakely’s energy and stage presence, however, is unmatched. He bursts into every scene with endless vitality, with incredible comedic timing and physicality. But, in terms of vocal ability, Carrie Hope Fletcher stands out. The YouTuber and stage star belts out original songs such as Pulled and Crazier Than You with effortless precision as Wednesday, although the rest of the cast are not far behind. Throw in a captivating ensemble cast plus an outstandingly funny and highly eccentric performance from comedian and actor Les Dennis as Uncle Fester, and you’re left with a strong, compelling cast.
But what really brings to life these beloved characters is the work behind the scenes. Diego Pitarch’s breath-taking costumes give these iconic characters an elegant revamp, without leaving their renowned styles behind. And the astonishing set design breathes life back into the Addams family home. Filled with brilliant one-liners, running gags and dark humour, this musical comedy is skilfully written, with quirky and heartfelt original songs written by Andrew Lippa. Although the story features a love-story, the real focus is on the importance of truth in relationships. And while this may seem simplistic in nature, it is accentuated by the peculiar and whimsical characters, as well as the wacky world that they inhabit.
The Addams Family musical is a spooky and freakish production that welcomes people familiar with these characters and those new to the story.