It may not be quite Halloween season yet, however that hasn't stopped everyone's favourite kooky and mysteriously spooky family, the Addams Family arriving (by hearse of course!) at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre for the week.
Based on the original black and white characters by Charles Addams, followed by a (black and white) TV series in the 1960’s with two movies in the 1990’s, The Addams Family are as famous as the Brady’s, the Royles or the Simpsons, as far as fictional families are concerned.
Although this tour may be the musicals UK debut, it wasn't my first invite into The Addams household, having had the pleasure of seeing an amateur production in York a couple of years ago, I went along with some of the music already fixed firmly into my memory. My favourite number, “Crazier Than You”, a duet by love struck Wednesday and Lucas, the typical clean cut American jock she's fallen head over heels in love with, much to the horror of parents Morticia and Gomez, performed by Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday and Oliver Ormson as Lucas was by far one of the shows highlights.
The story starts with an annual Addams tradition of waking the dead ancestors - by dancing on their graves, but Uncle Fester - whom for this evenings performance wasn't the billed Les Dennis, who is currently off sick, but understudy Scott Paige stops the Ancestors returning to their graves following the celebrations as I wants their help as Wednesday has invited Lucas’ parents Mal (Dale Ripley) and Alice (Charlotte Page) for dinner and begging her parents for “One Normal Night”.
With an impressive stage set which portrays the huge gothic, cobweb ridden mansion that is The Addams household, costumes and cast which are more on par with the film characters rather than the original cartoon characters, special effects and plenty of gags, The Addams Family makes for a spooktacular night out. Samantha Womack delivers a devilishly portrayal of Morticia, from the famous “wiggle walk” to her dry humoured, stiff lipped dark and mysterious character and the strong romantic relationship between her and husband Gomez (Cameron Blakely) works wonderfully well. It is Blakely that really brings the whole performance together, from showing his softer side as devoted father to both Wednesday and Pugsley, an old fashioned romantic to wife Morticia and bringing in the most wit and humour to the show along with belting out some tunes. Without ruining it for those who've yet to see it, there's very little I can fault this production on.
With the weather dramatically changing into Autumn no sooner than schools have returned, The Addams Family made me embrace the seasonal changes and look forward to the colder, darker nights, and of course - Halloween! With music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, (“The Wild Party” and “Big Fish”), The Addams Family is a must see for the whole family!
Reviewer: Charlotte Browne
Reviewed: 12th September 2017
North West End Rating: ★★★★