Reviewed by Cate Norris
Last night (6 June 2017) I paid a call on the Addams family and yes it’s true, they are spooky and a whole lot of kooky!
We finally have a UK theatre production of The Addams Family and it is just as dark, morbid and torturous as you could ever dream it. The thick of the plot is focused around 18 year old Wednesday (Carrie Hope Fletcher), who has grown up and fallen in love with your average boy next door, Lucas (Oliver Ormson). Wednesday confides in her father Gomez (Cameron Blakely), that the two are engaged, but requests that the news is temporarily kept from Morticia (Samantha Womack), a secret which may destroy the family. Meanwhile, poor Pugsley (Grant McIntyre) is troubled by his sisters strange behaviour (smiling and talking of birds and Disney), and is concerned about what this could mean for their future and if he will ever be tortured again. With a dinner arranged for a meeting of the parents, all Wednesday asks for is one normal night. When Wednesday suggests to Lucas that ‘it’s only a dinner, what could go wrong?’ we know we are in for a treat. Cue expert comic timing, a risky game of ‘full disclosure’, hilarious one liners and great music, all held together by an incredibly strong cast.
With a whole lot of scene stealing going on, it’s really very difficult to name the star of the show. Grant McIntyre as Pugsley, delivers an outstanding vocal and conveys the importance of family skilfully. Valda Avkins as Grandma, may have been made for the role and is hilariously funny (if it turns out she isn’t a member of the family she may be part of mine, simply return her). Les Dennis plays a perfect Uncle Fester. He completely embraces the role and is so endearing that he evoked a huge smile from me whenever he walked on stage. Charlotte Page, delights as Alice Beineke, Lucas’ mother, as we see her character completely transform throughout the show. Carrie Hope Fletcher was given the huge task of portraying Wednesday as we have never seen her before-definitely not a task to be taken lightly. Fletcher encapsulates the complexities of growing up; juggling staying true to yourself whilst finding your place in a judgemental world and leaving the family nest. Elements of what we know and love about Wednesday are visible in Fletcher and she blows us away with show stopping vocals.
The most surprising performances were delivered by Samantha Womack and Cameron Blakely. Womack stunned as Morticia, elegantly and sensuously gliding across the stage with a pokerfaced expression, emotionless demeanour and fixation on death, indicating she was made for this role. Cheering herself up with a fine vocal performance of ‘death is just around the corner’, we got to see just how morbid Morticia is and why we love her. Cameron Blakely wowed as Gomez, in a high energy performance that was comical and captured the intricacies of family life perfectly. Yet another fantastic vocal performance made us feel truly spoiled, hats off to an incredible and talented cast.
All that is left to say is that I have a full disclosure, I want to be adopted by the Addams family, I want to go and see the show again because I can’t stop thinking about it, I’m clicking my fingers a lot and I want to give it all of the stars but I am limited to just 5!
Tickets cost from £17 (booking fees may apply).
The Addams Family is at the Birmingham Hippodrome from 6-10 June 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com or call the box office on 0844 338 5000.
Birmingham Hippodrome, Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB | 0844 338 5000