With Halloween upon us, I ventured down to the Orchard Theatre Dartford to see what The Addams Family had to offer. The ‘kooky’ family at the heart of the TV series has been touring the UK throughout 2017 to rave reviews, and the show is certainly a spooky spectacle.
Adapted for the stage for Broadway in 2010, this musical sees the family open their doors to daughter, Wednesday’s, new boyfriend and his parents. It’s a classic ‘meet the parents’ fiasco with added mishaps and creepy ancestral family members.
Behind all of the spooky goings on, and plenty of onstage smoke, the show reveals a real sense of familiar family values. There are lovely moments, nicely brought home by the cast, between father and daughter, brother and sister and husband and wife, and everyone can relate to them. Sadly some of these moments are stunted by unnecessary ensemble work. It’s nice having the ancestor ghosts wandering around during scenes but some numbers just don’t need them. The Tango de Amor song was one example, but what makes it worse is that putting the lead pair next to professional dancers makes the leads look bad.
The soundtrack is slightly forgettable. I struggle remembering any song beyond Pulled (fantastically sung by Carrie Hope Fletcher) and the only other tune you’ll catch me humming in the next few days is the opening number, When You’re an Addams. There were nice moments, and great performances, but it could do with a few more hits to put it with the likes of other touring shows (Legally and Joseph for example).
However generally the show is on good form. Apart from some questionable lighting choices, the set and staging is fantastic and well choreographed to suit the piece. There’s comedy and clearly recognisable characters from the brand. Cameron Blakely is an outstanding Gomez – lively and wittily comedic.
Carrie Hope Fletcher has a stunning voice throughout. Other highlights include Grant McIntyre as Pugsley and Scott Paige who stands in for Les Dennis as Uncle Fester. Samantha Womack, the other big name on this tour, really suits the character of Morticia, gliding across the stage and bringing smooth sarcasm to the role.
Perfect for Halloween week, and pretty much any other week of the year, this show is something a little different with a classic family identity. There may be a few weak elements, but it ticks plenty of boxes for a night of entertainment with great performances to spook the whole family.
This is the final week of the UK tour of The Addams Family so pick up the last few tickets at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, now!
Photo credit: Matt Martin