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Sarah Crown
Theatre Correspondent
1:26 PM 24th November 2021
arts

The Addams Family – Da, Da, Da, Da, Clickety- Click

The cast of The Addams Family - photo by Pamela Raith
The cast of The Addams Family - photo by Pamela Raith
Everyone must know the snappy theme tune from The Addams Family so it’s no surprise that at long last it has inspired a full blown musical comedy which, in the main, doesn’t disappoint.

The stage is set from the moment you enter the auditorium and once the orchestra strikes up you are immediately drawn into the weird and wacky world of the Addams family by Gomez (Cameron Blakely) with his opening number “When You’re an Addams.

Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and has a shocking secret that she has only confided to Gomez. She has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke (Matthew Ives) a kind, smart and conventional young man from a ‘normal’ and respectable family!

Poor Gomez now has a dilemma and he must try to do something he’s never done before which is to keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia (Joanna Clifton) whilst maintaining his daughter’s confidence.

Cameron Blakely as Gomez Addams & Joanne Clifton as Morticia Addams - phot by Pamela Raith
Cameron Blakely as Gomez Addams & Joanne Clifton as Morticia Addams - phot by Pamela Raith
Wednesday’s new beau and his parents are invited to dinner with the Addams Family and the fun and games then really begin as the two families appear to be polar opposites, conventional versus misfits. But are they?

The Addams have never cared about conventional social frameworks as the two things that are really important to them are that they are always true to each other and the continued well-being of their extended family. Their love and support for each other is paramount in their family life.

This contrasts sharply with the family dynamics in the Beineke household where we learn that Alice (Kara Lane) in particular, but also Mal (Sean Kingsley) have been unhappily married for years.

The main message from the show is that to be happy you should remain true to yourself and to those you love as Morticia declares “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly”.

It’s fair to say that the cast were excellent. Cameron Blakely as Gomez is brilliant, he can both sing and dance and possesses superb sense of comic timing. His exaggerated facial expressions are in perfect contrast to Joanna Clifton’s cool and controlled Morticia.

Kingsley Morton as Wednesday was a star with a great voice. She was a fearless and feisty adolescent torn between family and hormones, responsibility and recklessness.

Uncle Fester (Scott Paige) and Lurch (Dickon Gough) were superb. In fact, Lurch’s starring moment towards the end of the show was worth the ticket price alone!

For me though, the main highlights were the family ancestors, each given their own distinctly different characters (Matador Ancestor; Viking Ancestor; Tudor Ancestor; etc.). All were beautifully costumed, perfectly choreographed and to me frequently resembled the characters from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

While fans of the 1964 TV series may find the ebullient vibe too incongruous, and those who loved the 1990s film versions might find the slower pace of the stage version a bit plodding, if you accept the musical for what it is – slick and colourful, featuring fabulous costumes and several big dance numbers, what’s not to enjoy?

A couple of downsides though, there were some small technical issues which I’m sure can soon be resolved and finally I couldn’t remember a tune to hum in the car on my way home!

Sheffield Lyceum
Until 27th November


The Addams Family is touring and the dates up North in 2022 are:
1-5 February - Bradford Alhambra
8-12 February - Newcastle Theatre Royal