The Addams Family - Our Review

June 1, 2017 by Claire Cosgrove

The Addams Family… da da da der - click-click.

They’re kooky, a little bit spooky and derive pleasure from pain. Not your average premise for a musical comedy but one that works surprisingly well. At The Cliff’s this week, just in time for the half term break, comes the The Addams Family in all their glory.

We have all probably heard of The Addams Family; Uncle Fester, Lurch, Morticia and daughter, Wednesday are all present and correct for this stage adaptation. Complete with a live orchestra, belting out music from the writers of multi award-winning hit music Jersey Boys, this original score is fun and surprisingly catchy.

Starring Samantha Womack (recently out of Eastenders) as Morticia Addams and Les Dennis as Uncle Fester, there are a couple of star names to get the ball rolling. We are also treated to some top class performances from Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday Addams and Cameron Blakely as the flamboyant Gomez.

The story? Well, Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, is all grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows. She’s fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family. With his cherished Morticia in the dark will Gomez manage to keep his daughter’s secret until the two families meet for a fateful dinner with hilarious consequences?

At the heart is the story of love, family and friendship, all wrapped up in the quirky and ghostly backdrop of The Addams Family’s home. With a rather opulent circle of ancestral ghosts that prowl the stage in extraordinary costumes, each with their own unique character, the staging feels very lavish.

Carrie Hope Fletcher is wonderful as Wednesday Addams, a leading musical actress and all the better for it. Thank you for not casting a ‘celebrity name’ to take on this delicious role. Her comic timing and vocal talents were top notch. Same can be said of Cameron Blakely as Gomez who seemed at total ease in this riotous role, commanding the stage with his wicked timing and flair. Samantha Womack adds some sex appeal to Morticia, with her perfectly placed demure persona. She certainly has the vocal talent to pull this role off with smooth panache.

It’s really fun! Lurch (Dickon Gough) looms over the proceedings with his steady, macabre presence, waiting until the end to reveal a hidden vocal shockwave. Les Dennis is rather touching as Uncle Fester, proclaiming his love for the moon and bouncing around the stage with comic glee.

There is a whiff of Rocky Horror Show about it but without all the gimmicks. Surely this show will get a well-deserved transfer to the West End?

Definitely worth catching in Southend, whilst you can. If you are planning to take the kids over half term, it’s best reserved for 7 years old and above. On at The Cliff’s until Saturday 3rd June.