Friday, 19 May 2017

 

The Addams Family at New Wimbledon Theatre (UK Tour)


I adore the score of The Addams Family musical. It's fun, catchy and makes you instantly want to snap your fingers along to the beat of the music. I've listened to the original Broadway soundtrack tons of times, and may have played the clips on YouTube more times than I can remember. I love the music so much, in fact, that I went out of my way to see an amateur production of the show a few years ago.. it wasn't good. Needless to say I was very excited when a UK tour was announced, because finally I could see a production of this wonderfully cheesy musical that would do the source material justice.

There are fewer families as iconic as The Addams Family, but did you know they don't just date back to the 90s films and 60s TV-show, but the original characters were conceived by cartoonist Charles Addams as far back as 1938? Despite being nearly 80 years old, the weird and wonderful Addams Family are still as enjoyable as ever with their return to the public eye in the stage show with a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music & lyrics by Andrew Lippa.

While the Broadway musical treaded the boards back in 2010 already, the new tour marks the first professional production to hit UK stages and it was long overdue. Many musical theatre lovers will have had the catchy tunes on their playlists of years, but now the more casual theatre goers have the chance to hear the incredible music too, while seeing the famous kooky family come alive on stage.

The story moves a few years beyond that of the film and TV-series, and the pale-faced, pig-tailed Wednesday Addams has grown from a child who loves to torture her little brother Pugsley, into an emotionally unstable teenager torn between her love of torture and the torture of love. One day while hunting with her crossbow in Central Park she meets an ordinary boy, Lucas, and the two of them, well, hit it off. Now comes the challenge for Wednesday to introduce Lucas and his all-American Ohio parents to her less than ordinary assorted members of the family...

While the teenage love story is what drives the plot of this musical, it's the eclectic characters that make the show; Uncle Fester (Les Dennis) has a moving relationship with the moon, Pugsley (Grant McIntyre) just wants his sister to torture him like she used to do, grandma (Valda Aviks) walks around with a pram full of potions, and we haven't even mentioned the zombie butler Lurch (Dickon Gough) yet, who can only communicate in grunts. The real stand-outs of the family though are of course parents Gomez (Cameron Blakely) and Morticia (Samantha Womack). Cameron Blakely's Gomez was particularly fabulous and while, admittedly, he did get some of the best lines in the show anyway, his delivery was a crowd-pleasing joy to experience.

And then there was Carrie Hope Fletcher (who I previously seen in Les Miserables), whose voice was the undeniable star of the night. Between Pulled and Crazier Than You, hearing those already brilliant songs come alive on stage with her powerful vocals was a real treat. Other catchy tunes on the night included group numbers One Normal Night and Full Disclosure, and if you don't leave the theatre humming When You're An Addams, what on earth were you doing while watching the show?!

The book might be a tad light on the story, but man the songs and characters are really what makes The Addams Family such a joyous night out at the theatre. If you love your craziness with a good ol' slab of cheenyness (not to mention super catchy tunes), then this UK tour is one you cannot miss.


The Addams Family is playing at New Wimbledon Theatre until 20 May, after which it's touring the UK until 4 November 2017. For a full list of touring locations and to book tickets, visit the official website.




No comments:

Post a Comment

Share Button