Skip to main content

Review of The Addams Family at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

It is twenty years since The Addams Family last graced the cinema screens and over fifty since the TV series finished, yet it was as if it was inbred into the entire audience as seconds into this musical they were all either clapping or finger clicking to the famous "click click" of the theme tune. The matinee audience was as contrasting as you could imagine, with the typical retired members and vast numbers of children of all ages in several school groups, however, whatever age all were entranced as this captivating musical took to the stage.
The first thing that is very apparent from this touring production of the 2010 Broadway musical is how gorgeous it looks. A stunning and innovative set from Diego Pitarch and beautifully dressed, this is no cheap budget touring production.

After the overture, the musical credentials are set high early with the lively When You're An Addams performed brilliantly by the whole company, and it is a benchmark for a glorious collection and, as expected from the best musicals, a contrasting collection of all styles. There is the lovely gentle What If?, the epic One Normal Night and perhaps my own favourite, the lively showtime Full Disclosure.
Cameron Blakely (Gomez) and
Samantha Womack (Morticia)

The cast is really brilliant throughout with in particular a quite amazing Cameron Blakely as Gomez, he like the rest of the cast has a superb singing voice, however, he imbues so much wicked character into the role as well.

The known names of this show do not let the side down either, Samantha Womack is a deeply and darkly alluring Morticia, creating a huge amount of comedy from the deadpan character and her grimacing smiles. She shares also a stylish tango routine with Blakely, showing some neatly hidden moves. Les Dennis is also a treat as Fester, part narrator and part comic Uncle, he as expected nails the comedy, however, he also is surprising and unexpectedly good in the singing routines. His performance of The Moon And Me is really truly a sweet moment.

Carrie Hope Fletcher is always a star and her cheeky and super confident Wednesday is a true delight. Full of real mischief and character, and of course a totally stunning singing voice. Dickon Gough steals every scene he appears in as the silent growling Lurch, and has a neat trick for the audience up his sleeve at the end. The ensemble from this production is also tremendously strong creating Alistair David's brilliant choreography with tremendous style and skill.
Carrie Hope Fletcher (Wednesday)
and Cameron Blakely (Gomez)

Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice's book, coupled with Andrew Lippa music and lyrics absolutely nail the dark and mischievous character of the show, treading a fine and clever balance between fun for the younger members and slipping some occasional very adult jokes into the piece without stepping too far. Therefore totally leaving this a show absolutely for the whole family.

The Addams Family is a quite brilliant production, full of visual flair, stunning tunes brilliantly performed by the cast and a lovely reminder of the classic show/film, but also accessible enough for anyone unfamiliar with the original. Get yourself to this promptly as it's too good to be missed and you never know whether you have much time as we all know Death is Just Around the Corner.

««««½


Performance reviewed: Wednesday 10th May 2017 (matinee) at the Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton.

The Addams Family runs at the Royal & Derngate until Saturday 13th May 2017 
and continues it's throughout 2017. Details of dates and locations can be found at http://www.theaddamsfamily.co.uk/

For further details visit the Royal & Derngate website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

PHOTOS: MATT MARTIN
The cast of The Addams Family

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Flashdance - The Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes

For the second week running, the Milton Keynes Theatre is overrun by a wave of eighties nostalgia as Selladoor's production of Flashdance The Musical follows hot on the heels of An Officer and a Gentlemen. However, is it nice to have more of that classic decade upon the stage? The answer mostly is yes, despite the fact that the story driving Flashdance is that light and flimsy at times, you just have to sit back and watch the dancing and the bright colours to get you through.

Welding genius, Alex Owens, has her sights set for a bigger thing beyond this tired and struggling factory in Pittsburgh.  Hoping to take her dancing beyond Harry's bar, she plans to make big, via Shipley Dance Academy.  Then, also drifting into her life comes Nick Hurley, who initially unknown to her, happens to be the factory bosses son, the scene is set for romance.

Flashdance has a generally excellent cast led with a tremendously good performance from Joanne Clifton as Alex Owens. Those familiar with …

Review of Bugsy Malone (Clyde Company) at The Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Last night I was back at Royal & Derngate to see the Youth Theatre/Young Company production of Bugsy Malone, this time seeing the almost completely different cast of Clyde Company. This second evening of the show had the fortune of running much smoother, with less of the technical issues that had beset the previous evening and restricted the success of some of the scenes.

It was most apparent in the Fat Sam's Grand Slam scene, which became a greater hive of activity, with a full dance routine taking place, which unfortunately hadn't happened the previous night. Leading this scene was a full-on performance from Morgan Charles as Tullulah, exhibiting the vocal talent, and most especially the dance skills she had shown in last years Fame.

In the lead for this second company, and taking a much different approach to the role, was Nathan Stroud. Here we had a more mature Bugsy, not just in age, but in personality. The slightly more serious style worked excellently alongside a st…

Review of The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

During the interval of The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband, last weeks production at The Playhouse Theatre Northampton, I got involved in a conversation between a couple sitting next to me. The lady was very much of the opinion that the play was a comedy, while the gentleman, had formed one that it was a tragedy. They were joking of course in the conversation, but it did highlight the differences that Debbie Isitt's dark comedy might have between the sexes. And also now perhaps the passing of time. When this was written in the nineties, Isitt's play was a forthright feminist play, heralding the championing over of the ladies over the man. One the ex-wife plotting to cook him, the other, the new lover, potentially already very tired of him after just three years.

The husband, Kenneth (Jem Clack) elopes initially in pursuit of sex with Laura (Diane Wyman), after his nineteen years of marriage with Hilary (Corinna Leeder) has become tired and passionless. Then later, he elopes secr…