The Addams Family
- Kelly Apter
- 28 April 2017
Quirky family makes smooth transition to the stage
When somebody bursts into song in a musical, it's usually to proclaim love or excitement – one of life's more positive emotions. But when Samantha Womack gleefully reminds us that death comes to us all eventually, in upbeat number 'Just Around the Corner', it feels perfectly in keeping. Because The Addams Family is a musical like no other, much like the TV programme and film before it, and singing about pain and misery is their raison d'être.
The loveable misfit of a family has been around in one guise or another for almost 80 years, with this latest musical incarnation giving them another chance at life – even if the thing they crave most is death.
As you would expect from writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice – the duo behind Jersey Boys – the script is tight and witty. Family head, Gomez has been gifted the lion's share of the laughs, and actor Cameron Blakely knows exactly how to get them – playing the father role with just the right mix of pathos and punch.
Carrie Hope Fletcher brings the powerhouse vocals to the show, and is deliciously dark as a teenage Wednesday, struggling to introduce straight-laced boyfriend Lucas to her unconventional folks.
Not everything hits the spot – Les Dennis does a fine turn as Uncle Fester until painful number, 'The Moon and Me' trips him up, and Womack's cool as a cucumber Morticia fails to warm up sufficiently for a tango number.
But in every other way, this show does what it set out to: capture the quirky, off-beat uniqueness of Charles Addams' original creation, wrap it in catchy numbers and deliver it with style.
Seen at Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Touring