FROM PAGE TO STAGE

THAT SPOOKY FAMILY COMES TO BRADFORD

FROM PAGE TO STAGE

The world of musical theatre is suffering from an overdose of films and television programmes that are being turned into musicals. How long before we see The Bill – the Musical or even Match of the Day turned into a full -scale stage show!

It’s always a risky business taking a well-known subject from television or comic strips. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. There are few that have really stood the test of time with many just disappearing into oblivion. Now it’s the turn of The Addams Family on its first UK tour.

The Addams Family has blown hot and cold with its popularity since its first inception as the brainchild of American illustrator Charles Adams in The New Yorker magazine in 1938. From there it in 1964 it became a television series which finished after 64 episodes. Since then it has been resurrected and made into sporadic T.V. specials, a film and in 2010 it hit Broadway as a musical.

As a stage show it has little depth or substance. The first half says it all, while the second half struggles with the story and is filled   with production numbers seemingly put there just for the sake of being put there to give the show a decent running time.

The Addams Family relies heavily on its cast and their characterizations and this is what pulls this production together.

Cameron Blakeley’s accent as Gomez in the early stages was indistinct but as the show went on he settled into the role beautifully whilst I found Samantha Womack’s Morticia needed to be a tad more evil and sinister, but as a duo they blend together well and excel in the Tango De Amor.

An excellent show stealing performance comes from Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday. She’s believable, feisty and her powerful vocals are pure gold.

Les Dennis’s uncle Fester ticks all the boxes in every way whilst Dickon Gough as Lurch is totally amazing with a characterization that demands both facial and physical discipline and strict comedy timing.

But for me the real stars of the show were the high energy filled Ensemble. As Ancestors, each with their own role, they are masters of physical theatre, difficult harmonies and executing some tricky choreography whilst at the same time moving bulky and large sets at around at speed.

Thee Addams Family is still suffering some technical problems especially with sound and lighting that hopefully will be resolved by the end of this week’s run

As musicals go, The Addams Family will never enjoy the success of Rocky Horror as a cult musical but it does make an enjoyable night out.

Runs at The Bradford Alhambra until Saturday 8 July.

Liz Coggins is  a member of The Critics Circle

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