Life & Style Editor Saskia Hirst and Comment Editor Ffion Hâf come together to review The Addams Family, praising the humour and highlighting the gorgeous stage and costumes

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Perspective 1: Ffion Hâf

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re all together ooky, The Addams Family Musical is back. We follow the Addams family for a special dinner party as they attempt to appear ‘normal’ when meeting daughter, Wednesday’s (Kingsley Morton) fiancé’s family, and in true Addams family style, not everything goes to plan… 

From the moment I sat down in my seat, I was immediately impressed. The set design was truly remarkable in that it encapsulated the Gothic atmosphere of the family house perfectly; from the large gate marked with the grand ‘A’, to the spooky pillars on both ends of the stage. Paired delightfully with the twilight lighting and creaking floorboards, the house felt truly alive for the night. However, the incredible sense of design did not stop there; without a doubt, every character’s costume was intricately thought-through and suited each character’s personality. My personal favourites were Wednesday’s dress, the Giselle Ancestor, and of course the sauntering gown worn by Morticia (Joanne Cliftonstole). 

Without a doubt, the majority of the night’s laughs came from Uncle Fester (Scott Paige) and Lurch (Dickon Gough). Uncle Fester’s charm was indisputable and you could tell that whenever he was on stage the audience were captivated by his performance. His hilarious love affair with the moon was an odd plot-line, however, it definitely worked in their favour. The hopeless romantic’s vocals in ‘The Moon and Me’ was truly out of this world. Not only did Uncle Fester bring a bundle of laughs, but Lurch had the audience in stitches (pun intended) with his painfully hilariously slow footsteps. 

The chemistry between the actors was undeniable […] I could not get enough of them

Arguably the dynamic duo of Gomez (Cameron Blakely) and Morticia was the highlight of the show. The chemistry between the actors was undeniable in that their love was sickening yet enthralling in the best of ways – I could not get enough of them. Their tango was without a doubt the high-point of the night for me, the emotion that the two shared as they glided across the stage was beautiful to watch. Another particular highlight of the night for me was Morticia’s ‘Just Around the Corner,’ who knew a song about death could be such a pleasant experience? Without a doubt, this was one of my favourite casting choices; from the gloomy stares that were enough to make your blood run cold, to the comical yet intimidating hair flicks, Morticia held the audience in the palm of her hand whenever she was on stage.

However, at first, I was not convinced with the musical’s ‘cheerier’ portray of Wednesday – in comparison to the well-loved film’s menacingly delightful character. I absolutely loved the performance of ‘Crazier Than You’ in act two. It was at this point for me that Wednesday truly came alive; rather than trying to act ‘normal’ for the sake of others, she embraced her uncanny self, crossbow and all. Both hers and Lucas’ (Ahmed Hamad) vocals blended perfectly together, uniting the characters in their unconventional yet endearing relationship.

Both the music and the dialogue are wickedly witty and delectably dark, sticking true to the roots of the family we all know and love. The attention to detail was remarkable, from every line to movement, the musical flowed perfectly and there was never a dull moment. From the moment I heard those all familiar clicks, I knew instantly that I was in for a good time, the sense of nostalgia this musical gave took me back to when I first discovered the films that I hold so dear, and that feeling was irreplaceable. Full disclosure, it was the best of nights and I would recommend this musical to anyone. 

Rating: 4.5/5

Perspective 2: Saskia Hirst

Wickedly wonderful, delightfully dreadful and magically full of malice, mischief and mayhem — the amazing  Addams Family is an unmissable musical, starring Joanne Clifton (Strictly Come Dancing and The Rocky Horror Show) as the brilliant, hip-swaying, seductive and elegant Morticia.

The musical sprinkled a lighter, humorous touch on the traditional Addams Family … with a twist! The delights of metatheatre oozed from the stage into the crowd, with many humorous, self-reflexive moments at the likes of Uncle Fester’s “This is no way to end an act?” and  “leave you depressed at the end […] I guess we’ll find out,” who was arguably one of the points of attention in the musical and stole all the light and humour.

The plot follows the heart-warming, if a little ghostly, Addams Family celebrating life and the death of their ancestors (who are resurected at the beginning go the musical), minus the drab of course. Although, not all is as it seems — Wednesday has fallen in love with a guy-next-door man, Lucas (gasp!). Ultimately, the comedic genius stems from the stereotypically American Lucas (and even more stereotypically right-wing American father) collide incongruously with the death of the Addams, their weirdness, but ultimately, after a miraculous turn of events, political sneers and attempts at poisoning (we pretend we didn’t see it, Pugsley), embrace the union of their families, however at odds they appear, and Lucas’ family has learned a lesson or two in truth-telling and death to heal their own cracks in the surface.

The Addams Family the musical is stand-out

From the grand, Dracula-style set design, to the magnificent music, stunning lyrics and impeccable vocals, and a dash of mist and funny smells, the Addams Family the musical is stand-out. As for its characters, my mind had pestered back and forth between who was the shining character. I mean, all plays have one, don’t they? But it appears this musical doesn’t — all actors weave together wonderfully, the chemistry is abundant and all actors embody their roles effortlessly that it’s hard to believe Uncle Fester isn’t actually Uncle Fester, Wednesday isn’t Wednesday… I could go on and on.

From the tall, Frankenstein-esque man who walks like a zombie and grunts like a demon (who, to all our surprise and delight, singings at the end in a wonderful deep bass tone), to Morticia to the magnificently chaotic grandma, whose acting is a wonderful gem and managed to steal my gaze from some of the main events on stage, when she was standing to the side, the musical is fault-less. From Wednesday, to Pugsley, to Gomez, everyone and everything between, Addams Family is a beautiful blend of brutal and beautiful, ghastly and gorgeous that can leave everyone, in Morticia’s words ‘perfectly unhappy’ in the best way.

Rating: 4.5/5

Tickets Available here.

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