The Addams Family – Review – Bradford Alhambra
The Addams Family – Review
Bradford Alhambra, July 2017
by Steve Crabtree – @stevecrab
A creepy and kooky atmosphere is in the Alhambra, Bradford for the opening night of The Addams Family musical.
We’ve got a good percentage of children here with parents and grandparents, looking forward to watching a very talented cast, comprising of a few household names.
Wednesday Addams has done the unthinkable, and found love with ‘normal’ boy Lucas from Ohio – and he’s asked her to marry him. She’s said yes, and whilst she’s happy to tell her father Gomez her good news, she wants him to keep it a secret from her mother Morticia, until both families sit down for a meal together.
For The Addams’s, death is their happiness and darkness is their light, so naturally they dislike love. Morticia would never approve of Wednesday being happy… or would she?
Gomez, played superbly by Cameron Blakely, has never kept a secret from his wife, and neither has he ever let his daughter down… so now he feels trapped. Who is he going to deceive?
“One big love story”
We’ve got fantastic, mysterious and spooky scenery; from eerie gates to crooked stairs. Lavish red velvet chaise-lounges to the darkest of wardrobes. Balconies to torture racks. The costumes are amazing, as is the wonderful Samantha Womack playing Morticia, and the incredibly funny Les Dennis playing Uncle Fester.
When the meal Wednesday organises goes ahead, Lucas’ parents Alice and Mal meet the family and are clearly uneasy at being in such a strange house. They do not approve of Lucas’ intentions. But it’s Wednesday’s brother Pugsley who’s quietly the most affected by his sister’s change of character. So, he attempts to feed Wednesday a truth potion, which will bring her back to being her old mean, miserable self – the sister who teases him and sets him on fire. He misses his real sister.
But his plan back fires when the potion is handed to Alice, who is normally upbeat and positive regardless of her reservations, but after drinking it immediately becomes compounded to tell her husband how unhappy he makes her, and how altogether ooky he is. She forces him to sleep in the shed.
“A brilliant, funny show”
When he goes walkabout, he sees his son and Wednesday happy together (after she shoots an apple off his head with her crossbow to see if he’d die for her) and realises that he has to change and make a return to the man he was when he met Alice.
Could Pugsley’s actions and attempts to re-enforce the darkness and disdain in the family, actually have turned a spooky, eerie tale into one big love story with a happy ending?
The Addams Family has a great cast with a brilliant musical direction containing some big numbers. The comedy timing, acting and vocals are incredible, but it’s Carrie Hope Fletcher who steals the show as Wednesday Addams, with a stunning all-round performance. Quite rightly she gets the biggest cheer of the night.
The show is a musical suitable for kids, but a step away from the film and leaning to a slightly older audience of teenagers and upwards. It’s a brilliant, funny show, and one where people will be going home and telling their friends that they need to try and see it.
images: Matt Martin