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The Addams Family - Tour Review

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
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Musical Comedy Is A Family Affair
We all know they're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, but can a new musical manage to bring the essence of this iconic TV family alive on stage?

Addams family, Birmingham hippodrome, tour, review, les Dennis, Samantha Womack,
Click your fingers for the Addams Family's return

From curtain up, there's a riot of colour and costumes, plus a lavish, detailed set recreating the crazy Addams Family and their famous crooked old house.

Although the roll call includes well known faces bringing these infamous characters to life, there's also top notch musical theatre talent perfectly cast to give the show an exciting and refreshing energy.

Currently on a UK tour, I saw The Addams Family at Birmingham Hippodrome, where it stays from June 6 to 10. It will also be at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from October 17 to 21.

What surprised me most was just how funny the script and songs were. They managed to recreate the tone and silliness of the TV show while going along their own path with a whole new zany storyline.

Of the big names in the show, Samantha Womack (famous for Game On and playing Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders) is a striking and steely Morticia while comedian Les Dennis is hardly recognisable in his make-up as Uncle Fester.

Dennis' decades in the entertainment business show as he has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand with his comic performance. His glib lines as the narrator - including jokes about President Trump - are hilarious. He also has the most charming yet bizarre song and dance routine with the moon that makes you sigh with contentment.

The Addams family, Birmingham hippodrome, les Dennis
Les Dennis is hilarious as Uncle Fester in the Addams Family

Stage talents Carrie Hope Fletcher as grown-up Wednesday Addams and Cameron Blakely, a musicals specialist playing sword-fighting husband Gomez, are both excellent, especially when they sing.

Many of you may have seen Carrie Hope Fletcher before in a UK tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She's also gained acclaim for playing Eponine in Les Miserables, if that gives some indication of what a fine voice she has.

What's also refreshing is that although The Addams Family is a relatively new musical it come with strong, catchy and innovative new songs. Praise needs to go to Andrew Lippa for the Music and Lyrics that range from the sentimental song What If to the high energy of Full Disclosure and the big solo number of Pulled for Hope Fletcher.

What I enjoyed most was that this show constantly surprised me and was a far cry from the routine or predictable. The action centres around a bizarre, madcap plot, that fits in perfectly with what the TV show was all about.

Taking the family on a few years from the TV programme to when Wednesday has grown up and fallen in love with a normal boy, the audience sees how Morticia and son Pugsley both cope particularly badly to a visit by the young man and his parents for dinner.

More than just the quirkiness of the characters, The Addams Family is also about family loyalties, growing up, love and following your heart.

Addams family, Birmingham hippodrome
Riotous fun with the Addams Family

The comedy is the constant glue that makes the story flow so well and there's a laugh around every corner. Many of the jokes revolve around the towering, slow butler Lurch and Dickon Gough playing him got one of the loudest cheers of the night.

Vivid with imagery and costumes, it's a clever touch to incorporate ghosts of the the family's descendants into the plot early on. This motley crew including a Viking, Elizabethan lady, Victorian wench, Spanish swordsman and the like become the backing dancers for much of the show.

Hilarious and gloriously quirky, The Addams Family is a riotous fun adventure. The only creepiness is this sentimental show creeping its way into your heart.


The Addams Family is at Birmingham Hippodrome until June 10. Tickets cost from 17.

It returns to the Midlands and is at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from 17 - 21 October.

Other dates on the tour include Cardiff, Salford, Bath, Belfast and Glasgow. Visit the Addams Family Tour website for details.
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Why? See a zany fun musical
When: June in Birmingham and October in Wolverhampton
Phone: 0844 338 5000 Birmingham or 01902 429212 Wolverhampton
Where: Birmingham Hippodrome and Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on UK Tour
Cost: From 17
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