Everyone’s favourite kooky clan are on stage at The Regent Theatre this week with the hilarious musical comedy, The Addams Family.
With a live orchestra with music and lyrics from the Tony Award nominated Andrew Lippa, this frighteningly good musical is an absolute treat, particularly for those who were fans of the 90s film.
The ghoulish gang find themselves in the graveyard of The Addams Family home for an annual gathering of family, both dead and alive. But Uncle Fester stops the ancestors returning to their graves until love prevails for Morticia and Gomez’ teen daughter Wednesday, and her ‘normal’ boyfriend, Lucas Beineke.
Wednesday confides in her father, Gomez, about her love and asks him not to tell Morticia because, as mum’s do, ‘she’ll ask a lot of embarrassing questions’. The predicament places Gomez between a rock and a hard place as he tries to navigate half truths to keep the family peace until having met the Beineke’s.
Lucas and his parents, Mal and Alice, are invited to The Addams for tea, and are greeted by zombie butler Lurch, who is a man of few words. Less is more with Lurch, with his painfully slow stride and menacing grunts of conversation. That said, he’s a character that’s full of surprises, played with brilliant humour by Ryan Bennett.
Bundle of malice, Wednesday, is played by Kingsley Morton, who portrays the sassy Princess of Darkness with drama and attitude. Her vocals lend themselves perfectly to musical theatre, and I imagine that it’s not the last we’ve seen of her on the Regent’s stage.
Her love interest sees her swap her usually black attire for a yellow dress to impress boyish Lucas, played by Ahmed Hamad, who struck a very 90s Sabrina the Teenage Witch kind of tone with his acting and varsity jacket costume.
The set was dark and imposing, and was switched seamlessly by the ancestry ensemble, showing the gothic mansion from every angle. The ancestors – featuring romans, vikings and ballerinas – brought a vibrancy and energy to the show as they danced around in the shadows of the set.
Joanne Clifton, who won the 14th series of Strictly Come Dancing with celeb partner Ore Oduba, stunned as Morticia Addams with a sashay that even Ru Paul would be proud of. The seductive character commanded the stage and was clearly the matriarchal figure of the family. Her tango with Gomez – played by Cameron Blakely – was phenomenal, technically challenging but effortlessly executed. The sultry, Spanish dance was one of my favourite parts of the show, with a supportive ensemble adding drama to the already substantial scene.
A doting father and devoted husband, Cameron Blakely made a fantastic Gomez, equal parts hilarious and a little bit wild, but with strong family values and a fierce love for his wife and children. Speaking of, Pugsley’s somewhat understated role deserves a mention, as Grant McIntyre delivers the childish torture-loving cast member with confidence and charm.
Matt Slack’s Uncle Fester totally stole the show – the pantomime star put his comedic skills to good use and had the audience in stitches on more than one occasion, having nailed the walk, Fester’s mannerisms and expressions, and an impression of Donald Trump.
The Addams Family has brought delicious anarchy to The Regent Theatre for a story of love, family and friendship with a kooky twist. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, uplifting and well deserving of a standing ovation.
Catch The Addams Family at The Regent Theatre until Saturday, April 2.