REVIEW: THE ADDAMS FAMILY (New Wimbledon Theatre)

Everyone’s favourite kooky family are back in The Addams Family musical!

Based on the original single-panel gag cartoons, The Addams Family has music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. The show opened on Broadway in 2010 just blocks away from the Addams Family mansion located in Central Park. An instant hit, the show won several awards before touring around the US. It wasn’t until 2016 before we welcomed the Addams Family to this side of the pond in Edinburgh, followed by a UK tour. This production is now back out on tour with a fantastic new cast bringing their disgustingly true tale of the Family Addams to venues across the UK.

The Addams Family centres around Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, who has grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows; she’s fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family! Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. 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? Find out and join the entire Addams Family clan – Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley and more for a heart-warming story of love, family and friendship… with a twist!

This cast features Joanne Clifton (Janet in the UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Alex Owens in the UK tour of Flashdance, Dale Tremont in Top Hat and BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing) as Morticia and Cameron Blakely as Gomez Addams. Kingsley Morton as Wednesday Addams, Grant McIntyre as Pugsley Addams, Scott Paige as Uncle Fester, Valda Aviks as Grandma, Ahmed Hamad as Lucas Beineke, Sean Kingsley as Mal Beineke, Kara Lane as Alice Beineke, and Dickson Gough as Lurch. Joining them as the ghoulish ancestors of Addams past are Abigail Brodie, Castell Parker, Jessica Keable, Ying Ue Li, Sean Lopeman, Sophie Hutchinson, Matthew Ives and Sario Solomon.

As head of the Addams clan, Joanne Clifton and Cameron Blakely are perfection as Morticia and Gomez. They play the loved-up couple with a sense of fun and playfulness. With a twinkle in his eye, Blakely’s performance is a masterclass in character work with varied voices, physical comedy and a beautiful singing voice to boot. Joanne Clifton’s Morticia is played with stylistic finesse, bringing shades of light into the darkness we know and love Morticia for. Grant McIntyre as Pugsley handles the difficult Pugsley vocal with ease and serves character work that melts the heart. Speaking directly to the audience throughout as narrator, Scott Paige’s Uncle Fester is thrilling. His loveable Fester has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand from the start of the show and when he falls in love with the moon, so do we. Sean Kinsley and Kara Lane as Mal and Alice Beineke are perfect. Their up-tight portrayal of the classic out-of-towners provides many laughs and Kara Lane’s vocals towards the end of act one are triumphant. As their love-sick son Lucas, Ahmed Hamad is wonderful. Giving a youthful performance throughout, Hamad bounds from scene to scene and creates the perfect sparing partner for Wednesday. Valda Avik’s Grandma is absolutely bonkers (who’s mother is she?!) and Dickson Gough’s Lurch is alarming perfection. Kingsley Morton as Wednesday Addams was a revelation. Her vocal throughout the show was absolutely stunning, soaring over the cast and her Pulled and One Normal Night was the best I’ve ever heard it sung. I can’t wait to follow her career to her inevitable journey to a West End stage. Brava!

They’re creepy, they’re kooky and all together ooky! This touring production is top-notch and I can easily see it transferring with it’s current cast to the West End. Grab your clan and join The Addams Family as they haunt the New Wimbledon Theatre until the end of the week. Full Disclosure, you will love it!

★★★★★

Reviewed by Stuart James