By Julie Wallis twitter.com/Nicenic63
The Addams Family at Birmingham Hippodrome
The Addams family are visiting Birmingham Hippodrome all this week, so get a witch’s shawl on, a broomstick you can crawl on, we’re gonna pay a call on, the Addams family. Click click!
Staring Cameron Blakey as Gomez, Samantha Womack as Morticia, Les Dennis as Uncle Fester, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday and Grant McIntyre as Pugsley.
I was unsure as to how this 1960s hit to show would transfer to stage, but it works REALLY well. The Addams Family began life as a cartoon in The New Yorker magazine in the 1930s, before being bought to life in the black and white tv show in the 1960s and then had two movies in the 1990s. The family are unconventional but otherwise a strong family unit of dad Gomez, mum Morticia, uncle Fester, grandma and the two children Wednesday and Pugsley who live in a creepy gothic house alongside their butler Lurch and the disembodied hand known as Thing.
Thing does make a small cameo appearance through the letter box but in this production there was no cousin It, although there are lots of other long dead Addams family members including a warrior, a Viking, a jester a matador and an ancient roman complete with purple robes and a laurel crown.
The story for this show centres around Wednesday who has recently become engaged to Lucas (Oliver Ormson) and has invited Lucas and his parents to dinner to introduce the families. It’s not a complex story, it doesn’t need to be, this show is all about the singing, the dancing and with a few laughs thrown in for good measure, mostly from Uncle Fester, who Les Dennis does wonderfully well.
Carrie Hope Fletcher makes for a beautiful Wednesday and you may have seen her at the Hippodrome as Truly Scrumptious when she was in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang last year. She has a perfect voice for live singing and she really belts out her tunes. I can’t work out how such a tiny slip of a girl can produce such a large voice, but I loved Crazier Than You and Pulled both of which are predominantly Wednesday singing.
The songs are strangely familiar even though I have never listened to the soundtrack , I must have heard some of them on the radio (Elaine Page on Sundays plays show tunes) but the only tune that we didn’t hear was the theme tune from the tv show, that said, I didn’t miss it. This show is jam packed full of great songs. Although the orchestra did play a little of the theme tune music and the audience were all finger clicking or clapping, so we was not completely robbed of that.
Samantha Womack looks perfect as Morticia, strangely suiting her long dark wig and showing off her hourglass figure in the classic Morticia dress, she exudes sexiness in a weird Addams family way and I’m happy to say she and Gomez are still as loved up as ever. She is also a talented dancer, with the Tango De Amor being faithfully recreated by Morticia and Gomez. Gomez has a great Spanish accent and looks very dapper all evening. I must say the wardrobe is absolutely spot on.
Genuine shock of the evening for me must be when Pugsley Grant McIntyre began singing. He plays the part of a little boy so well, I had completely forgotten he was a full grown man and he has the voice to prove it. My favourite scene was when Wednesday had her new fiancé in front of her with an apple on his head whilst she attempted to shoot the apple, blindfolded! I don’t want to give any spoilers but this is the right moment to mention the ballerina ancestor played by Jessica Buckby. Is there anyone who is not impressed when a ballet dancer goes up on their toes and glides across the stage, I don’t think so.
I loved the cast, they are all perfect, I loved the set, it really is the Addams family home both outside and in, I loved the wardrobe, it could so easily be spoiled if any of the outfits were not right, but they are perfect too, I loved the choreography and I loved the songs. Safe to say I loved The Addams family and I hope you will too. But most of all I love Lurch. Played by Dickon Gough, he makes for a formidable butler and for a non speaking role he raises a few laughs along the way. Non speaking, Lurch does grace us with a note or two in one song. All I can say about his singing is, you’ll definitely know it’s Lurch singing.
Thank you to the Birmingham Hippodrome for inviting me to such a spook-tacular evening. I really had a ‘wail’ of a time at this monster hit.
The Addams Family is a Birmingham Hippodrome until 10th June. Buy tickets here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/the-addams-family
Julie and Dave saw The Addams Family at the invite of Birmingham Hippodrome and this is Julie’s honestly held opinion.