Reviewed by Catherine Brown
A click of the fingers and a flick of the wrist is all it takes to transport yourself back into the creepily comical world of The Addams Family. Currently showing at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, the musical comedy is a heart-warming story which will entertain and delight the audience from start to finish.
Based on original characters created by Charles Addams, the story was then turned into a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and subsequently this stage production, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Fans of the original film will spot familiar characters with their unusual traits, plus be introduced to some new musical numbers to get your toes tapping along to.
Gomez and Morticia Addams are not your usual American family. They are more likely to be found rousing their ancestors from the dead or eating rabbits killed from the local petting zoo than the normal everyday routine. This is a worry for daughter Wednesday (Kingsley Morton) who wants to introduce her ‘normal’ boyfriend Lucas Beineke (Ahmed Hamad) to the family. She lets her father in on the secret that the couple plan to get married, which causes Gomez (Cameron Blakely) to worry about how his wife will react.
Joanne Clifton as Morticia is a great casting. She uses her swaying hips and long legs (more familiar to fans of Strictly Come Dancing) to create a mesmerising character who Gomez obviously adores. This is in contrast to the parents of Lucas who have got themselves into a relationship rut. Wednesday is keen to get her family’s blessing for the relationship and the young couple talking to each other from separate balconies gives a nod to the families at war in Romeo and Juliet.
Uncle Fester (Scott Paige) is a hilarious character determined to make the love triumph between Wednesday and Lucas a success along with the help of slow moving but adorable butler Lurch (Dickon Gough). One family member not so keen on the union is Wednesday’s brother Pugsley (Grant Mcintyre) who fears that he will miss having his sister around to torture him. The mischief maker decides that an acremonium potion created by Grandma, designed to reveal the truth, will help sort out their problems with dramatic consequences.
The strength of this show for me was undoubtedly the songs and their lyrics. There were many occasions where the same songs were sung by different cast members to show the similarities and differences between them. My favourite number was ‘Crazier than you’ which was typical of the high energy tunes that kept your attention throughout. Compliments should also go to the supporting cast as the ancestors, who wore flamboyant costumes and moved around the stage adding drama to every scene. They also added great illusion and comedy with their clever positioning ‘inside’ portraits on the wall.
I would recommend this show to audiences of all ages; there is something for everyone with drama, romance, comedy and just the right amount of terror for a family show.
The Addams Family is showing at The Alexandra Theatre, Suffolk Queensway, Birmingham until the 22nd January. Tickets are available starting at £13 plus booking fee from www.atgtickets.com