Ian Waller and his 11 year old daughter enjoy a spooky and kooky evening with The Addams Family
As a kid, 11 o’clock on Sunday morning meant The Addams Family, the original black and white American TV series, offering a creepy and kooky break from mainstream TV and a trip into a surreal, Gothic world of comic fun. Now that most untypical family is back and visiting Bath with a colourful, tuneful stage production that graces the Theatre Royal Bath until 17 June, and it’s an absolute joy!
Created by cartoonist Charles Addams in the 1930s, The Addams Family is everything the Waltons are not, a spooky yet loyal family of wierdos, misfits, vampiresque coquettes and masochists who somehow still show traditional family values of love and honesty, just not in your typical middle class way.
This new production sees the Addams’ daughter, Wednesday, falling in love with the horribly normal Lucas, much to the disapproval of both sets of parents. When Wednesday breaks the news of the young couple’s plans to marry to her father Gomez, how can he keep it from upsetting his beautiful wife Morticia?
This is a wonderfully kooky production with more than a hint of Mel Brooks that perfectly catches the essence of this unique family. Cameron Blakely is outstanding as the patriarch Gomez, played with more than a touch of Groucho Marx and at times equally romantic, dramatic and loyal. Samantha Womack – best known as Ronnie Mitchell from Eastenders – sizzles as Gomez’s wife Morticia, while family favourite Les Dennis steps into the long overcoat of strange Uncle Fester with unexpected aplomb.
However, to single out particular performances would be unfair – this is a superb ensemble piece, from the each of the lead players to the superb supporting cast employed as the undead Addam’s relatives called upon by Fester to help out at a time of need.
Around the performances is a wonderful musical score that succeeded in the excellent goal of producing immediately catchy songs that you’ll find yourself whistling in the intermission and on the way home. And throughout the excellent script is full of jokes and quips – “What I lack in depth, I make up for in shallowness” – accompanied by top class choreography. Add in great sets and wonderful costumes, and there’s plenty to enjoy.
While younger children might struggle, my 11 year old daughter loved the performance, particularly the ballsy Wednesday played with real confidence by Carrie Hope Fletcher. As for me, I thought it was a real treat and fully deserving of the rapturous applause at the finale.