Click, click - The Addams Family are in Town!
The Addams have come a long way since the first original comic strip, created by Charles Addams for the New Yorker in 1938.
His macabre, death-obsessed family has subsequently featured in a sitcom, blockbuster films, a cartoon and during 2019, an animated film.
The next step was, of course, a musical. In this revitalised musical comedy with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, the show has been recreated a few years in the future from when we last saw the family (the 1990s films), with the Addams children in their early and late teens.
Wednesday takes the lead in this production, a seemingly misanthropic and unfeeling individual whose life is turned upside down when she meets wholesome, all-American jock, Lucas Beineke. From this point on, she’s charmed by cute animals, saccharine love songs and wants to *gulp* smile. The story is centred on the meeting of Wednesday’s and Lucas’ families, and how their obvious differences ultimately help make this peculiar unit grow.
We meet the cast the evening that Lucas’ exceptionally straight parents are visiting for dinner from Ohio. Wednesday pleads with her family to try to be normal for just one evening, although she gets anything but . . .
The set in this production is incredible, it makes the stage look enormous and its spooky stylings make it a really immersive experience.
Much of the cast were a really young bunch, but they demonstrated equal flair and professionalism to the rest of the cast – the big chorus numbers sounded spectacular, and the choreography was fully embraced and executed by them all beautifully.
Stand out talent for us was Callum Morley (Uncle Fester) and Rachel Hayes (Grandma Addams) whose campy, over-the-top performances were both hilarious and authentic. Their comedy was as physical as it was verbal and the audience lapped them both up.
The top vocal performances were undoubtedly from Chloe Haley (Wednesday) in ‘Pulled’ where she showcased the full breadth of her fabulous vocal ability, and Andy Vitolo (Gomez) in Happy/Sad, where the blend of melancholy, a perfectly-executed Spanish accent and loads of heart was really special. Andy also wears the artistic director's cap, and his passion for the company and the arts is general is tangible; we can't wait to enjoy another of his theatrical imaginings.
A special mention to Cassandra Orchard must be made for the moment where Lucas’ mum Alice discovers her inner id – her singing was stupendous here, and to Nick Siddall as Lurch for . . . well, we’ll leave the ‘why’ for you to discover.
There are occasional slips in accent and slower moments in the show, but The Addams Family just gets better and better as the evening goes on, and you’re left contemplating that all families have their quirks and we should embrace them. We had a fantastic evening, go and see it!
For tickets and information, click here.