The Addams Family theatre review: The Addams Family have moved into the New Wimbledon Theatre – having just finished its highly successful, spectacularly spooky run at the Edinburgh Festival.
The Addams Family theatre review by Barbara Jones, May 2017.
Unexpectedly this new imagining of The Addams Family is a love story, and also addresses social issues and family relationships while also being it is the funniest and most creatively spooky musical yet. A total triumph for Andrew Lippa whose English heritage enabled him to write about an unusual, fictional American family that appeals so totally to the British audience.
The audience are enraptured and captured from the moment the first finger clicks begin and the audience is held for every minute of the show.
An intensely passionate and hilarious portrayal as a doting father and adoring but hen pecked husband, Cameron Blakely as Gomez is the star of this production. He leaps from one emotion to the next, playing clown and straight man. His voice gives justice to many emotional songs, Tango De Amor especially when the agony he feels at losing his wife, is tangible.
Carrie Hope Fletcher plays his eighteen year old daughter, Wednesday, a threat to her mother, Morticia, as she uses all her feminine wiles so that her father betrays Morticia’s trust. Wednesday falls in love with a boy, Mal, her family consider highly unsuitable because he is ‘normal’.
The strength of her funny and dramatic performance is only enhanced by her powerful singing voice.
Les Dennis played an able and considered Fester. His was the voice of reason in this mad, demonic ‘Addams World’, and he definitely made us laugh.
No ‘Addams Family’ show could work without Lurch, the silent butler, played faultlessly by Dickon Hough. Every sound and slow movement he made had the audience laughing and wanting more and the unexpected revelation of his brilliant vocal talent was brilliantly manifested in his only solo performance.
Morticia was played by Samantha Womack. Regrettably her glamorous and seductive portrayal of Gomez’s wife, over-shadowed any ghoulish, spooky aspect of her performance. Charlotte Page as Alice, mother of Mal, brought some hilarious moments to the stage and we should be hearing more of her spectacular singing voice.
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Throughout the story, the souls of the family are laid bare by the clever and constant use of the ensemble. Costumes as the family ancestors, they portray the conscience, the desires, thoughts and evil of the Addams Family. They only added to the amusing touches incorporated in the constantly changing scenery – portraits that came alive, niches in walls through which hands appeared!
This is a ‘not to be missed’ musical of a very different genre. You will rapt with laughter and eerily entertained by the ghoulish. The music is catchy, the lyrics are slick, clever and cynically amusing – not one song disappoint. Another triumph in a different medium for The Addams Family and everyone involved in its production.
The Addams Family theatre review by Barbara Jones at the New Wimbledon Theatre.
The Addams Familyplays at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London until Saturday 20th May, before continuing on its nationwide tour.