The UK Tour of The Addam’s Family is finally here and it had its press night at Festival Theatre in Edinburgh last night where it is running until 29th April. The cartoon first appeared in the New Yorker Magazine almost 80 years ago yet the characters and their stories are still very much alive today after having a television series, an animated series, a film and now, to many people’s delight, a musical.
The musical made its debut on Broadway in 2010 and it wasn’t long before people were singing the songs and longing for a West End transfer. Unfortunately, this transfer never happened, until this tour, which is the professional premiere of The Addam’s Family in the UK. It features refreshed arrangements, an updated script with plenty of references to current events and a stellar cast of musical theatre and TV favourites, this production is bound to be a hit.
It opens with the full company performing the energetic song ‘When you’re an Addams’ as we are introduced to the Addams Family and their, unique way of life. The family of course consists of the loving father Gomez, played by Cameron Blakely and his wife Morticia, played by Samantha Womack. They make a wonderful on stage couple with perfect chemistry and a humorous relationship with their children. Their family gets more complicated however when Wednesday (Carrie Hope Fletcher) gets engaged to ‘normal’ all-star American high school athlete, Lucas Beineke (Oliver Ormson) with very run of the mill parents. Wednesday invites them all to dinner to meet the family but, her mother foesn’t know they are engaged and her little brother Pugsley, played by Grant McIntyre, will do almost anything to keep his sister torturing him.
The show is fun filled and packed with laughs throughout the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and the music and lyrics which were written by Andrew Lippa. Samantha Womack makes a wonderfully sensual and somehow mothering Morticia who has strong moral values and coupled with Cameron Blakely’s incredibly caring if slightly eccentric Gomez, they make the perfect couple to head up this ghoulish family. Carrie Hope Fletcher performs incredibly as Wednesday featuring a beautifully belted ‘Pulled’ and truly carries off the angst that a young teenage girl has when trying to work between the worlds of family and love. Les Dennis also made an absolutely incredible Uncle Fester. He was truly loveable in making the ancestors of the house stay out of their crypt in order to help set up Wednesday and Lucas and his ode to the moon ‘The Moon and Me’.
The chorus were used wonderfully throughout the piece, being on stage a lot in the family scenes to oversee what was going on and to keep an eye on things. One thing I noticed that I absolutely loved was that, during scenes when they weren’t on stage, one chorus member would always be in the painting in the family room. When I first saw the painting move I thought I was imagining things until I looked back and it was a different chorus member there which is a beautifully unique touch that many people wouldn’t notice but it adds a layer of detail!
This is truly a wonderful production and I don’t have a bad thing to say about it. It was cast incredibly, every actor has such wonderful chemistry on stage with each other, I could truly believe that they are a real family.