Review by Emma Pocock
The Addams Family are back in a new UK musical tour that reached Cornwall just yesterday.
An excellent show for all the family, the musical manages to deliver on
characters that are true to their earlier representations and musical numbers that are stuck
in the audience’s head long after they’ve left the theatre.
Wednesday Addams is at the centre of the plot, having fallen in love with “normal boy”,
Lucas Beineke. Chaos erupts when she only wants to tell her father, Gomez, about their
engagement, causing trouble with wife/mother, Morticia, who can tell when there’s a secret
she’s not being told. The Addams host a dinner party with the Beineke family, which ends
up reminiscing The Rocky Horror Picture Show as parents Alice and Mal navigate their
way through the Addams’s haunted mansion and end up at a dinner that was never going
to be ‘normal’ like Wednesday and Lucas wanted it to be!
Matthew White’s The Addams Family has been adapted from the Broadway hit musical
from 2010, with music by Tony award-nominated Andrew Lippa and a story crafted by the
writers of Jersey Boys, based on the comics by Charles Addams. The cast do a
spectacular job of bringing back the eccentric household that most remember from the
films (which tend to be a household tradition every Halloween), meaning the musical has
both nostalgia and talent on its side.
Carrie Hope Fletcher’s Wednesday steals the show, with a fantastically strong voice
adding to the dark teenager’s newfound struggle with the sickly sweet feelings that come
with ‘puppy love’ (as Morticia calls it). The wonderfully punchy ‘Pulled’ is delivered with
huge amounts of passion on Fletcher’s part, offering her West End vocals and sunny
disposition to a character which requires strength and fun hidden beneath the dark ‘doom
and gloom’ exterior. Her one-liners give Wednesday a fantastic sense of her mother’s wit
and her father’s playfulness, at one point telling Lucas ‘Scary? I eat scary for breakfast,
honey’. A catchy duet between her and Lucas (portrayed by the talented Oliver Ormson)
introduces a youthful sense of daring and adventure to the show, which is refreshing
amongst the (admittedly comical) shows of parental conventions and strains on
There’s particularly fantastic energy from Cameron Blakely, who delivers Gomez’s gusto
and innocent jests perfectly, along with some touching scenes like ‘Happy/Sad’, in which
he reminisces Wednesday’s childhood and laments how quickly she’s growing – soon to be
Thursday! His solo ‘I’m Trapped’ gave faint echoes of Rent: The Musical’s ‘Tango Maurine’
with its farcical frustration and twisting beats, and overall his performance works perfectly
with the rest of the cast to deliver an upbeat production that manages to make audiences
laugh and cringe (as is custom when dealing with the Addams’ household!).
Samantha Womack’s Morticia has the character down to a T. She floats around the stage
with grace and a cutting smile paired with deadly humour which opposes Lucas’s mother,
Alice, in a perfectly hilarious manner. A tango between Womack and Blakely delivers the
memorable passion and tension between the couple, and the duo lead family classics like
‘When You’re An Addams’ with particularly characteristic vivacity on Gomez’s part, and an
air of darkness and poise from Morticia.
Uncle Fester is portrayed excellently by Les Dennis, acting as a narrator and offering the
audience humorous scenes delivered timely by a spot-on squeaky American accent. There
are also surprises by the ensemble, particularly Scott Paige’s resounding voice as one of
the many ancestors making up the ghostly chorus. The ensemble really make the show,
hiding in plain sight – invisible to the Beineke’s yet managing to create mischief and add to
the spooky set and catchy track perfectly.
It’s a cast which has completely fallen in love with the production, and it’s easy to see why.
The energy of Alistair David’s choreography (relying heavily on the ensemble of ghostly
ancestors) and Diego Pitarch’s sets wonderfully recreating the dark mansion offer the cast
a nostalgic playground in which to act out characters that have become tradition, and
Andrew Lippa’s music guarantees that you’ll have more to sing when you think of The
Addams Family than just the classic ‘duh-duh-da-da’ finger snap – though you’ll be happy
to know that this features!
A highly recommended West End ready musical, but be sure to book your tickets quick as
the Addams are only at Hall For Cornwall until June 24th! Visit Hall for Cornwall’s
website to book, or the official website of the musical to find out where it’s off to next.
You can also read an exclusive interview with Carrie Hope Fletcher on her role as
Wednesday Addams, working in theatre and overcoming criticism here.