Tuesday, 27 June 2017

“The Addams Family”
Nottingham Theatre Royal

This has been one musical that has, until now, eluded me, so with great anticipation I took my seat expecting a drop dead night of great entertainment. That is exactly what I got.
The musical is from the pen of the multi award winning writers who created “The Jersey Boys”, again another musical that I’ve yet to experience.
The story is that Wednesday Addams, the Princess of Darkness, has grown up and she has a secret; a secret that’s only known by Gomez. She has fallen in love with a nice respectable young man, but will the secret be kept under wraps until the two families meet for dinner?
Andrew Lippa stays true to the original, keeping the fun element of the immortal TV series as well as the cartoons we all remember from our younger days. It’s just as funny, which can sometimes be lost when adapting a successful TV series to a stage musical. The story is fun and, unlike some, is strong and entertaining.
The soundtrack is packed with some fine comic lyrics wrapped in some toe tapping Latino beats. The casting is also excellent. The one liners are incredibly well written..
Carrie Hope Fletcher (Wednesday) finds her heart is being pulled in a new direction. Her vocals are wonderful and so powerful. She gives a new meaning to OMG as for her it’s definitely a case of “Oh My Goth!”
Oliver Ormson plays the object of Wednesday’s inflictions, sorry affections, Lucas Beineke. Incredibly likeable character who would die before living without her. Would he regret that statement though?
Mother Morticia, played by the gorgeous Samantha Womack is elegant in the role. Cool, calm and very collected with an air of sophistication. She can sing, she can dance (great tango) and looks to die for.
Cameron Blakely (Gomez) was born to be Gomez. His comic timing was exquisite. His voice is pure character driven musical theatre in this role, and the accent never faltered or wandered. he is Gomez and he made me believe I was watching Gomez and not Cameron.
Les Dennis is almost unrecognisable as Uncle Fester. His years of comedy enables him to blend macabre with mirth perfectly. Spanning a 45 year career, he is comedy gold and a legend.
Valda Aviks (Grandma)made me think of Carol Lee Scott's "Grotbags" character. Brilliant characterisation role to add to her extensive theatrical CV.
Grant McIntyre (Pugsley) could never have been cast as anyone other than the little brother who loved to be tortured. Perfect casting, but what i wasn't expecting was that he had a really good musical theatre voice as well.
Dickson Gough as Lurch, the butler, Another surprise, but you had to wait until the end to discover what a beautiful operatic voice he has. Simple comedy role but what an impact he has.
Lucas’s parents, Mal and Alice Beineke are played by Dale Rapley and Charlotte Page. Minor roles but nothing less than a majorly comedy duo, especially Charlotte who has an incredible singing voice.
Directed by Matthew White. He kept the comedy pace up and running throughout.
Choreography by Alistair David. Such a mixture of dance styles which was exciting for the audience member. A visual treat and an amazingly choreographed tango which looked like it would Argentine at the start but then ended up being an imposing tango. The opening number "When You're An Addams" set the pace for the whole show.
Andrew Hilton is the Musical Director and leads a wonderful eight piece band. Act One mat have swallowed some of the singing but that was soon sorted out by the sound engineers.
There were echoes of "Cell Block Tango" and "We Both Went For The Gun" from Chicago as well as other musical theatre pieces in some of the songs, but that's no bad thing as the soundtrack is as catchy as measles in primary school, but a lot more fun. And like measles you'll be itching..... to hear them again.
Oh and the set! Diego Pitarch’s set design is horrifically good, as are the costumes which create just the right fun, but freaky atmosphere.
A brilliantly energetic ensemble complemented the main cast really well. A very physical musical with brilliant physicality from ensemble and cast members, making this musical one to remember for a long time.
“The Addams Family” is a spooktacular hit and if you don’t get to see it before Saturday 1 July 2017, it may haunt you for a long time to come. Mwahh hah hah ha!

1 comment:

  1. Great review and I agree, a show I had not seen before but thoroughly enjoyed. Glad you highlighted Charlotte's voice, she was magnificent. My only thought, the ensemble deserved more praise, they were very sharp, especially Scott Paige and Jak Skelly. Thanks.