Thursday, 3 March 2022

REVIEW: The Addams Family at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley

After pining to see one of Andrew Lippa’s most famous musicals for years, I had such excitement and high expectations for Aria Entertainment’s production of The Addams Family.

Based on the fictional family cartoon by Charles Addams and later film franchise by Caroline Thompson and Larry Wilson, The Addams Family follows the story of Wednesday Addams, the daughter of a satirical and kooky family who relish in the macabre and odd. After falling in love with a conventional and preppy young man Lucas, the pair arrange a dinner for their parents to meet - leading to an evening of ghoulishly sour events that nearly cause the breakdown of each family. The show combines the dark and eccentric with classic camp comedy, providing a show that will make you want to die with laughter.

With a deliciously punchy score by Andrew Lippa, the music drives the story through its punky high tempo bops to its full-out spectacular choral numbers, which harmonies need a review of their own just to depict the utter sensation that hits your ears. There isn’t a musical fan out there who does not know every lyric of “Pulled”; Wednesday’s high energy, full pelt solo, which Kingsley Morton performs with such effortless technique and grandeur. This, combined with the dazzling ballroom numbers, including Gomez and Morticia’s tango performance, made for an entertaining and electric atmosphere. The ensemble as a whole brought life to the show, led by strong dance captain Matthew Ives.

There were however pacing issues throughout the first half. For a first night show of a production that has toured for quite a while, this is to be expected, but it did make the first half feel slightly dragged out with a slow start. This being said, there were several highlights to leave the show remembering.

The setting was simple yet incredibly effective; portraying the dark, dreary interior we all associate with the gothic family; complete with symmetrical balconies for each couple to converse and barbaric, brutal contraptions fit for medieval torture. 

Honorary mention has to go to Cameron Blakely, Kara Lane and Scott Paige who play Gomez Addams, Alice Beineke and Uncle Fester. Blakely encapsulated the flamboyant and zany head of the family with such ease and comic genius, whilst Lane surprised us with her incredible, never-ending vocal versatility. Paige however, stole the show with his camp, animated and equally creepy portrayal of the family’s uncle who is in love with the moon. 

Despite a few technical glitches here and there, the show was very entertaining for the mixed age range that made up the audience. A much-beloved pop-culture franchise turned into a wacky, witty family favourite musical.

Review by Esther Neville 

Rating: ★★★

Seat: Stalls, J34 | Price of Ticket: £44.50
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