Theatre Review: The Addams Family

29 June 17 words: Dom Henry

Our favourite spooky family are back in a morbid musical

The Addams Family

The Addams Family

I’d been looking forward to this one, what dastardly spooktacular fun might we witness as Morticia & Gomez and their macabre loving family take to the musical stage?

Having fond recollections of reruns of the classic 60s TV series, alongside the 90s films and childrens cartoons, I had high hopes. And, as the lights went down on the looming Gothic Addams family mansion and the familiar finger clicks led us into the first number I found myself surrounded by gleeful grins.

The domestic bait for this ‘episode’ of the gothic American family sitcom sendup is one of young love. Wednesday (internet star Carrie Hope Fletcher) who is now all grown up as a gothic teenager, is smitten. Unbelievably with a revoltingly “normal” blue jeans and baseball jacketed All American boy Lucas (Oliver Ormson). Worse still, he has proposed.

Fearing the wrath of her formidable mother, Wednesday makes her loving dad Gomez promise to keep schtum about wedding plans until she can engineer a meeting of the two families, over dinner, at the mansion. Hiding things from Morticia? That can’t end well. It’s down to well meaning basket case Uncle Fester (Les Dennis) to try and steer things away from family meltdown as oddball master of ceremonies, even calling upon the spectres of Addams past to help stave off disaster.

Les Dennis as Uncle Fester

Les Dennis as Uncle Fester

While the plot is on the thin side and the score is a bit 'musical by numbers' in places, the cast do a fine job with what they’ve got. It’s unashamedly good fun, with plenty of gag laden dialogue and well crafted routines on offer on the inventive mansion set, where historic family ghosts lurk amongst all the lush detail.

Carrie Hope Fletcher does a great line in teenage angst as crossbow toting Wednesday, showing off an excellent voice. Her pin striped father Gomez dotes on her but is genuinely wracked with guilt at the though of marital deceit with his beloved Morticia. His lively latin delivery, which has more than a bit of Puss in Boots, drips with energy and passion as he wrestles with his wife vs daughter dilemma.

Cameron Blakely as Gomez and Samantha Womack as Morticia

Cameron Blakely as Gomez and Samantha Womack as Morticia

Morticia is played by Samantha Womack and my goodness can she sing, though isn’t the perfectly poised empress of the macabre I was expecting, her take showing a few cracks in the black clad visage.

Nice to see that every member of the family has their musical moment, Pugsley’s number ‘What If?’ thoughtfully musing “What if she never tortures me any more?” “What if she never nails my tongue to the bathroom floor?” as he laments the impending loss of his sister. Even Lurch gets a turn at the end, all seven foot of him, in mighty operatic baritone. A talented cast across the board.

Great fun overall, we’ve been too long without Fester, Lurch, Pugsley and Co. It’s not perfect but the crowd of older children, grown up fans and closet Goths were all lapping it up, it was standing ovation time at the Theatre Royal.

The Addams Family plays at Nottingham's Theatre Royal until Saturday 1 July 2017.

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