Who doesn’t love The Addams Family? Full of crazy, hilarious characters, obsessed with darkness and death, the franchise originally created by Charles Addams has been revamped and warped onto many different platforms over the years. But rest assured, the snappy theme song everyone knows and loves lives on in the stage version and it’s as iconic as ever.
Directed by Matthew White and written by Marshall Brickmman and Rick Elice, this musical follows Wednesday Addams, the 18-year-old daughter of Gomez and Morticia who loves shooting at all objects with her crossbow and torturing her brother Pugsley. Wednesday has recently fallen in love with a ‘normal’ boy Lucas. The problem starts when Wednesday invites Lucas and his family to meet her slightly more unusual one. One normal night is all they want but, as drama has it, that certainly doesn’t go to plan. Secrets, rings, potions and one little game threatens to tear the two families apart in more ways than one.
The cast is relatively small but all of the characters are so clear cut that it works perfectly for this musical. The ensemble play their role of ancestors impeccably, providing all the Addams characters with support in their musical numbers, particularly standing out in their scenes with Fester. Scott Paige as Uncle Fester is so in tune with the character and his song ‘The Moon & Me’ showcases Paige’s brilliant voice as well as his comedic acting and narration.
Kingsley Morton as Wednesday is incredible throughout, executing every note perfectly, with a particularly great rendition of her song ‘Pulled’ in Act 1.
Joanne Clifton is as beautiful as ever as the elusive Morticia and she shines in all of her scenes. The five minute long tango in Act 2 – with choreography by Alistair David – allows Clifton’s flawless dancing to take centre stage and she truly looks at home on the stage and in this role.
But a special mention must go to seasoned performer, Cameron Blakely as the ever charming and hilarious Gomez Addams. Blakely truly captures Gomez’ brilliance and his comedic timing is flawless, drawing so many laughs from the audience throughout the show. His mannerisms and facial expressions add layers to the character and it is immediately clear why Blakely is reprising his role as it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing it so well.
Clever lyrics and one liners have the audience in pieces throughout the show and there is a great mix of mature jokes for the adults and sillier ones for the younger members of the audience. “Wednesday’s growing up… she’ll be Thursday before you know it,’ sums up the musical’s comedic direction perfectly and the humour is so quintessentially Addams-esque that every joke lands.
It’s hard to imagine someone attending this show and not having a great time, the music by Andrew Lippa is fantastic with Spanish inspiration throughout, the cast work brilliantly together and the production as a whole is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face – although the Addams Family might prefer a grimace!
The Addams Family is at the Opera House, Manchester from 19-23 April 2022 before continuing its tour.
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