1.The cast are Fabulously brilliant
It’s not too often that I come out of a show reeling in joy and praise. The cast of The Addams family are simply sublime. From the brilliantly clever and stylistic use of Dance by the ensemble to the incredibly accurate and dynamic characteristics stylings of the family members. This is one of the rare times in a production when no one is left behind or carried by anyone else, every member of the company was Fablis! I hate singling out names but it’s necessary, for fear of listing off the entire cast I’ll try and keep it short and sweet.
Les Dennis ( @LesDennis ) as Uncle Fester fore fills the role as the narrator of the plot, often breaking the fourth wall which adds to the show hugely. A Showbiz veteran, Dennis is a perfect fit for this role.
Carrie Hope Fletcher (@CarrieHFletcher) makes it all look effortless physically, emotionally and vocally. ‘pulled’ is anything but, she shows her true Talent on stage with brilliant technique, wonderful tone and exquisite execution.
Cameron Blakely ( @stupidalfred1 ) is the Grandmaster of the production as Gomez, leading us from scene to scene from dramatic climax to dramatic climax and is also incredibly funny. I don’t recall laughing so audibly ever before at any other musical I’ve seen. This is mainly due to the duet/tango that takes place between the writers, creatives and the performers. This production is a shining example of how it’s supposed to be done. Having played this role in the past I understand how difficult it can be (I was really good guys…sorry you missed it!). Blakely creates his own Gomez with hints towards past performances by actors in both the 1960s TV show and more recently the 1991 film adaptations. This is also true for all the other cast members.
Valda Aviks as the grandma is very funny and spooky in the same breath. Her portrayal reminds me of almost an Old Irish grandmother in this production something which the audience really latched onto. Grant McIntyre (@GrantMcintyreuk) is endearing and brings a youthfulness and naivety to the role of Pugsley which it’s so desperately needs.
The two real surprises for me however in this cast were that of the rising star of Samantha Womack arguably most famous for her role as Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders, which she has recently departed from and as Michelle in the Kingsman film series. The sequel of which is set to hit cinemas this autumn. She is simply stunning as Morticia Addams, she sings, she dances and she acts her socks off. She is the embodiment of everything Morticia is supposed to be.
Charlotte Page was the second surprise of the evening, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, she plays the role of Alice Beineke extremely well. Her character development, sincerity and her voice is an unstoppable force of light and sometimes darkness in this production. Her vocal control brilliant, so much so, what could have been a ‘throw away role’ becomes the part of a leading lady. I could not help but draw comparisons to this role and that of Ellen, the estranged wife of Chris in Miss Saigon. A production which I cannot wait to witness this autumn at the same venue (I still pay for my own tickets, why? I don’t know… I must be amoung their best customers).
2. Huge production value
Over the last few years touring productions have gotten bigger and better. Before what might have been done in a minimalist fashion can now be as extravagant, fluid and breath taking as that of a West End show. Addams Family does not disappoint. The set is spectacular, it’s realistic and most importantly it’s dynamic which enables it to change from scene to scene, bringing continuity to the illusion of the fantasy of Theatre. I’ve been disappointed before with Sets such as in Sister Act the musical, the set rarely changed. This is not the case here, the ticket price was worth seeing the set alone. The creative team, a list of which are available online here, have done a fabulous job. From set design to lighting to sound it was simply perfect. The live music and the fact that the orchestra were actually in the orchestra pit situated under the stage always adds atmosphere and a certain je ne sais quoi to the production brilliantly led by musical director Andrew Corcoran.
3. The writing is so cleverly composed and It’s funny!
Andrew Lippa’s ( @lippaofficial ) music and lyrics are as genius as the Legendary Sondheim and as relevant as that of broadways latest hottest tickets Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights, Bring it on) or Pasek and Paul (Edges, Dear Evan Hansen, A Christmas story). Lippa is also the creator of the stunning ‘The Wild Party’ and ‘ You’re a good man, Charlie Brown’ he leaves taste and quality everywhere he ventures. He has alos worked extensively with the infamous Kristin Chenoweth. As well as being a composer of musical theatre, he also composes much in the Art music or to use the more popularised phrase ‘classical music’ ‘genre’. He is an exceptionally talented writer but not just for his character work and ability to produce an assume ballad but for his witt and charm. His cleaver use of ‘rhyme’ and how he crafts a song filled with innuendo and pun is very reminiscent of Sondheim. It’s brought new hope for the further of Musical Theatre as a standalone genre and medium of story telling.
4. It’s in Dublin…
If you live near, go go go, the next trilling a night out at the theatre you will get is a fifty minute flight away, in LONDON!
This is a stunning production full of wit, character, humour, song and dance. If I was to be hyper critical of anything it would be the plot. Not that I disliked it, I didn’t, but I would have been more enthralled if there had been more at stake. However, its simplicity and execution was a breath of fresh air as often in other shows things can get a little too complicated. The Addams Family is a portrayal of an extra ordinary, eccentric and unusual family. Full of dark but also light and whatever it is that makes us human. Unexpectedly the show investigates and profits on the dynamics at work within the family unit, something which we all come from or have personal experience with. From what may seem unrealistic and inaccessible the use and focus on the family makes this story and this musical very real and ever more relevant in a 21st-century existence.
However, its simplicity and execution was a breath of fresh air as often in other shows things can get a little too complicated. The Addams Family is a portrayal of an extra ordinary, eccentric and unusual family. Full of dark but also light and whatever it is that makes us human. Unexpectedly the show investigates and profits on the dynamics at work within the family unit, something which we all come from or have personal experience with. From what may seem unrealistic and inaccessible the use and focus on the family makes this story and this musical very real and ever more relevant in a 21st-century existence.
🌟🌟🌟🌟 + ½🌟
I so desperately wish I could give the Show 5 Stars because it quite possibly deserves it, but it doesn’t hold the same place in my heart as that of The Bodyguard, Wicked, Miss Saigon or Dreamgirls. Its extremely CLOSE!
Special shout out to my partner in crime…Síofra… She’s quickly becoming one of my favourite people to see a show with, she’s so quick and always on the money. Can’t wait to see more. This blog post is dedicated to her and our friendship!
Siofra & Alan – ‘The Luas Home’, The Addams family – Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin, August 2017