The Addams Family review at Festival Theatre, Edinburgh – ‘sizzling musical comedy’
Love, quite incongruously, is all around in the musical comedy version of The Addams Family, which sees Charles Addams’ famously morbid cartoon creations discover, to their horror, that daughter Wednesday has fallen in love – with a normal boy.
A version of the musical opened on Broadway in 2010, though it was later revised for a US tour. Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice’s book has the expected level of spooky kookiness, but it’s Andrew Lippa’s music and lyrics that make it soar even if there’s an occasional lack of crispness from an otherwise powerhouse orchestra.
Les Dennis’ Uncle Fester is an emcee figure, calling on a chorus of ghostly Addams ancestors to help the family in its plight.
They are ever present in Matthew White’s production, cruelly mocking in the background, looming in the shadowy paintings and balconies of Diego Pitarch’s consistently inventive set. As choreographed by Alistair David, they give the show a lavish feel, crowding the stage but believably invisible to the “normal” family of Wednesday’s intended.
Carrie Hope Fletcher captures Wednesday’s teenage angst with authenticity and provides a commanding vocal performance. Her romance with Oliver Ormson’s Lucas is unconventional enough, but it is Wednesday’s relationship with Cameron Blakely, as her father Gomez, that is most interesting.
Samantha Womack’s Morticia suffers a little in comparison. She does not quite reach the right levels of imperiousness in the role, as the irascible Gomez works out how to cope with the competing commands of wife and daughter.
Suitably, for a show based on a single-frame comic, there are plenty of sight gags.
There are musical gags too. The scene in which Charlotte Page, as Lucas’ mother, Alice, discovers her inner id is a brilliant piece of vocal prowess and Dickon Gough’s one vocal breakout moment, as steadfast butler Lurch, is superbly revealed.