The Addams Family – the musical comedy, currently running at Nottingham Theatre Royal until July 1st, is ghoulish fun and a grand colourful extravaganza telling a brand new tale of everyone’s fave, weird and wacky Addams family, from New York.
It has toe tapping, finger clicking songs a plenty, exhilarating dance routines that fill the Theatre Royal stage with the darkly dotty Addams Family themselves and their ten ghostly ancestors. Then we have the visiting Beineke family Mum Alice (Charlotte Page), malcontent Dad Mal (Dale Rapley) and nervously lovelorn son Lucus (Oliver Ormson).
The Addams Family show has a very witty book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Matthew Wright directs with style and the striking choreography is by Alistair David. The fantastical and often magical set and costumes are designed by Diego Pitarch and the show is enhanced by the atmospheric lighting and sound designs by Ben Cracknell and Richard Brooker. Richard Beadle is musical supervisor and orchestrations and the ten piece orchestra (playing seventeen musical instruments between them) is under the baton of musical director Andrew Hilton.
The show’s song highlights include When You’re An Addams (full company), Wednesday’s Growing Up (Gomez), One Normal Night (full company), Pulled (Wednesday), Just Around The Corner (Morticia and Ancestors), The Moon and Me (Fester and the Moon Beauties), Happy Sad (Gomez), Crazier Than You (Wednesday, Lucas, Mal and Alice), Full Disclosure (Full Company), Waiting (Ancestors), Not Today (Gomez) and Move Toward the Darkness (Full Company).
The whole ensemble are splendid throughout particularly the hard working ancestor cast members. Cameron Blakely (Gomez) and Samantha Womack (Morticia) make a lovable dark couple who never keep secrets from each other – well maybe just one tiny one. Blakely keeps up the comic energy of his character throughout with his super physicality and louche Spanish accent. His relationship with Womack’s sexy Delphic – woman in black – Morticia is one of the many joys of this family show especially as Gomez realises that their daughter Wednesday has grown up rapidly from the little girl she once was. Both Blakely and Womack have fine singing voices and magnetic personalities. They are also drolly funny. Amongst the many laughs in the show there are a few second half tender moments that parents of growing teenagers will certainly recognise.
Les Dennis is very funny, almost unrecognisable, and romantically sympathetic as the oddball Uncle Fester. This reviewer loved his Moon Song and his preposterous preparations to travel to the moon. His character also acts as occasional confidential narrator to the piece. The audience really warm to him as Fester.
Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday is the darling of the show. She is at once feisty, devilishly cruel to Pugsley, vulnerable, chronically imbued with teenage angst and Hope Fletcher has a fabulous singing voice as well as great presence on stage.
Her stage brother Pugsley (Grant McIntyre) is very very bad in a very very good way. He cares about his sister deeply and is deeply upset at the thought of her going away with Lucas and no longer able to spend time torturing him! McIntyre does weirdo kid exceptionally well.
Dickon Gough makes the very most of Lurch, a ponderously heavy footed character that speaks no lines, communicating by moans and grunts. Grandma Addams is played with gusto by the delightfully nuts Valda Aviks and lights up the stage on every appearance.
As the Beineke family, strangers to the very strange household of the Addams family, Alice (Charlotte Page) and Mal (Oliver Ormson) are a comic blessing to the show and Page’s singing is knockout. The son Lucus (Dale Rapley) is teenage lovelorn angst perfection.
If you are looking for a perfect kooky family visit to the theatre then we can definitely recommend this gore -iously magical and lively production of The Addams Family – the musical comedy.
Reviewer: Phil Lowe.