Chronic Illness Friendly: 2/5 – Lots of strobe lighting and pyrotechnics throughout with no build-up, each instance lasting for a couple of seconds: I’d be particularly cautious if you suffer from photosensitivity, migraines or any similar conditions. Some surprising, jumpy moments too, enough so that the woman sat next to me physically levitated out of her seat in shock a handful of times throughout the performance… Regardless, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to tolerate odd moments of these things, like me, this is definitely one of those shows that’s worth the payback.
I’ve just settled down to write this review, and I’m already smiling. The Addams Family UK Tour, directed by Matthew White, was one of the best shows I’ve seen this year, and it feels like a privilege to have experienced it for myself. Ironically, it was only because my best pal Izzy was desperate to see the show that I booked us tickets for her birthday; and once again, something that wasn’t initially my choice has ended up being one of my all-time favourites.
Let me just start by saying that yes, I was really disappointed when I found out that both Carrie Hope Fletcher and Les Dennis were off the night we went to see it. Carrie in particular is somebody who, after only being aware of her and watching her videos for a short period of time, as a result of booking our Addams Family tickets, I now hugely admire and was desperate to see perform. HOWEVER, the two understudies filling in their roles were outstanding, and the entire cast as a collective were just SOLID.
Cameron Blakely as Gomez made my entire life. His comedic performance was so strong that soon, even just his entering the stage had me smiling, and his and Samantha Womack’s performance as Morticia complemented each other perfectly. Kirsty Ingram gave an emotive and heartfelt, yet excellently psychotic, portrayal as understudy Wednesday as naturally and easily as if she’d done it every night of her life, and Grant McIntyre did an excellent job in making the audience’s heart go out to Pugsley, in spite of his wickedness. Scott Paige as understudy Uncle Fester was absolutely hysterical, utterly nailing the one-liners, timing, and moments of direct communication with the audience. Dickon Gough also really did justice to the infamous Lurch, as did Valda Aviks as Grandma delivering that killer line in Full Disclosure, that had the entire audience sniggering away for a good few minutes; I don’t want to give it away to anybody waiting to see the show, but if you’ve already witnessed it, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Again, I’m smiling just thinking about it. The characterisations of the three members of The Beineke Family were such a hilarious contrast to The Addams Family, and I’m sure it goes without saying that I absolutely adore Oliver Ormson in particular. The ensemble did a wonderful job of portraying their individual identities as Ancestor characters, and I particularly enjoyed Jessica Buckby as the creepy Ballerina Ancestor; you guys know I’m all about the dance content. Phew. This was one talented cast, and this paragraph alone, in spite of its gushiness, really doesn’t do justice to their talents both individually, and together as a collective.
The production as a whole was just faultless, really. Alistair David’s choreography was a particular highlight: clean and kooky and wonderful all at once, and the transitions between scenes were clever and seamless and clearly so well thought out. The set and costume design were faultless, particularly regarding the monster under Pugsley’s bed. Every single musical number was executed extraordinarily (props to Richard Beadle), and I’d be hard pushed to pick a favourite… although Scott Paige’s performance of The Moon And Me was hysterical, and Full Disclosure at the end of Act One was an absolute work of art, and probably one of my all-time favourite musical moments. Seriously, I’m sat here writing this and actually pining because of the fact that I probably won’t get to see that scene again. Addams Family production team, live show recording please?!
So, in case you hadn’t noticed, I kind of liked this show. It represents the very best of musical comedy, and I know it’s one that will always stick in my mind that all future shows will be held up in comparison to. Congratulations to an extremely talented cast and crew for creating something so wonderful, although I do hold you personally responsible for, as Gomez would say, the Happy Sad thing I’ve got going on right now: I’m legitimately sad that I won’t get to see this one again this time around, but I’m so blummin’ happy that I experienced The Addams Family for myself.
If you haven’t already seen The Addams Family, take a look at the remaining tour dates and book yourself a ticket, pronto. Tickets are a little pricier than usual, but they’re worth it. If you have already seen it, do leave me a comment below or send me a Tweet, so we can discuss Cameron Blakeley’s comedy genius at length. Ta.
If you liked this post, you might like my review of Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes; read here!