America’s creepiest, kookiest family are back in town, touring across the UK in a brand-new production of The Addams Family Musical. Based on Charles Addams illustrated creations which he debuted in 1938, The Addams Family were a satirical take on the All-American Family formula seen in many beloved US sitcoms of the time.
The setup of the traditional nuclear family was in place however the Addams clan are a brood like no other! Parents Gomez and Morticia, their children Wednesday and Pugsley, lovable Uncle Fester, ghastly Granny and Frankenstein Monster-esque Butler Lurch relish in the macabre and all things darkness while remaining oblivious to the outside world and unaware that outsiders find them strange and unnerving!
The touring production and musical adaptation transfers the Addams Family audiences know and love from the screen to stage beautifully, capturing a detailed gothic aesthetic in the set design, a darkly humoured tone, catchy musical numbers and a quirky but heart-warming storyline.
The Musical keeps Charles Addams original creations close to its cold-blooded heart rather than acting as a remake or follow-up to the numerous television incarnations and popular 90’s films which starred Anjelica Huston and Christopher Lloyd. Nevertheless, the plot crafted for the musical could easily tie in with the aforementioned versions depicting Wednesday Addams as a young woman and how her life choices impact the rest of the family.
In the Musical, the ghoulish characters are introduced on a dark and misty night in their graveyard. The frightening family celebrate their yearly tradition of the deceased, unleashing a succession of ghosts from their eternal slumbers (“When You’re an Addams”).
Uncle Fester (played mischievously by Les Dennis) decides to keep the spirits around for a little longer, enlisting their help as the family are faced with a new crisis. Young Wedneday (the sensational Carrie Hope Fletcher) is being “pulled in a new direction” after falling for clean cut all-American jock, Lucas (Oliver Ormson). Determined to get married, the pair arrange for their polar opposite families to finally meet in the hope of receiving their blessings and therefore embarking on a marriage of the morbid kind.
Wednesday confides in Gomez (Cameron Blakely) about her nuptial plans which he is sworn to keep from his voluptuous wife, Morticia (Samantha Womack), putting their famously passionate relationship on the line. The show then kick starts a series of events centring on themes of family loyalty and identity conflict set against a ghoulishly gothic backdrop.
The Addams Family is a clever show embroidering physical comedy as well as some subtle moments of humour combined with spooky horror. Essentially, it’s a more accessible take on a gothic operetta that holds appeal for all ages. There is a 7+ age guidance attached to the show but it is the first musical in a long time that has something in it for everyone.
The show has potential to become a hit cult musical a la The Rocky Horror Show. There is a clear influence at play especially the dinner sequence (‘Full Disclosure’) that emulates Richard O’Brien’s iconic cult musical. Audience members have been known to attend the show dressed in full costume, therefore it will be interesting to see how the show’s cult status will develop over time.
The Addams Family Musical is a dynamic, subversive show with gallons of atmosphere, stunning sets, elaborate costumes, awesome special effects and an exceptionally talented cast. The most outstanding numbers include second act duet ‘Crazier than You’ sang by Wednesday and Lucas then his parents, ‘Pulled’ which captures sibling torment between Wednesday and Pugsley to new heights, plus it’s very funny and showcases Flecther’s incredibly talented vocals.
‘Death is just around the corner’ is a morbidly cynical yet dark humoured outlook on life courtesy of Morticia. Uncle Fester’s bizarre fixation with the moon is transformed into a glittering set piece titled ‘The Moon and Me’ which is just as sweet as it is strange. The entire show consists of incredibly strong dancers that perform as mischievous spirits throughout. ‘The Moon and Me’ is exceptional as it includes ballet giving the piece an elegant tone.
The musical brings back the characters we know and love and keeps them true to the source material in this fourth wall breaking, gothic extravaganza.
The Addams Family Musical is touring across the UK until November 2018, performing in the UK’s most fantastic theatres. Don’t hesitate, get those fingers snapping and book this spooktacular, frightfully funny show!