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The Addams Family

by on 31 October 2022

Sppooked

The Addams Family Musical

by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice

BROS Theatre Company at Richmond Theatre until 29th October

Review by Heather Moulson

It was nearly Halloween, but I didn’t know what to expect from this musical based on the sixties TV show.  Could they really recreate that iconic and so morbidly enticing Addams family?!  However, after a delightful glimpse of Thing, barehanded obviously, through the thick tabs, we opened up to a stunning beginning, with a fabulous tableau of the family behind a mesh curtain.  The glamorous and kitsch macabre family were surrounded by gothic splendour, the focal point being a sweeping candlelit staircase.  Starting with the showstopper When You’re an Addams we were introduced to the whole undead cast, clad head-to-toe in atmospheric detail and intricate make-up.  The rule that one should never begin with a showstopper was disproved and showed us that you can do exactly that. 

The matriarch, Morticia, played by monumental Heather Stockwell, dripped sensuality, while Gomez, played vibrantly by Guillaume Borkhataria, was consistently full of charm, only enhancing the erotic chemistry between the bizarre and handsome couple.   Uncle Fester was loveable and optimistic, breathing life into unlit bulbs, while the children Wednesday and Pugsley had grown up to be strong individuals.   Faithful butler, Lurch, played by Bill Baker, took a while to embrace his unique role and really came to life (so to speak!) in the second half, delightfully shocking everyone by singing the first line of Move Towards the Darkness while succumbing to grandma’s morbid charms … charms beautifully and madly played by Clair Jardella. 

Wednesday, played marvellously by Katy Jackson, had become such a strong and determined young woman, that a clean-cut beau, Lucas entered her life with serious intentions, involving his wholesome parents coming to the Addam’s for dinner.   This was where the fun really started.   Not to mention a great torture number with Pugsley and Wednesday singing Pulled.  Her potential suitor, who wouldn’t look out of place in Book of Mormon, was played with conviction by Griffin Godsick.   Meanwhile, Pugsley, played beautifully by Mathew Madeley, kept us enchanted. 

Tension mounted as soon as the Beinekes walked through the Addam’s foreboding door – played smoothly by Russell Bramley as the ruthless businessman father, and his poetry reciting spouse, Alice, played by Tracy Sorgiovanni – who kept this plot going nicely.  Particularly their highest point when they finally shed their inhibitions, and rediscovered each other. 

The first act was tight and moved nicely, with great numbers and choreography such as One Normal Night and Full Disclosure.  However, the second act did not carry the same weight.  There were just slightly too many scenes, when the misunderstandings could have been solved at a more comfortable speed.   However, Fester excelled as he played the ukulele, bringing on a wonderful dance number with The Moon and Me.  Crazier than You was captivating too. 

All this ended on a colourful climax.   The Addams Family was directed and choreographed in great detail by Sian Bowles-Bevan, being joined with choreographer Emma Knight, resulting in entrancing sequences and numbers.   Musical director Chiara Beebe brought the numbers to life, and the lighting design was cleverly done by Edward Padgett.  Terrific makeup by Louise Ellard-Turnbull.  Writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice should be proud of BROS’s production.   

A joy of a show. 

Heather Moulson, October 2022

Photography by Joe Stockwell

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