The Addams Family at New Wimbledon Theatre
Synonymous with TV, laughter, and the macabre, the Addams family have come to the UK to dazzlingly flaunt their differences in this enchanting and uplifting masterpiece of musical theatre.
Andrew Lippa brings a masterful script by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice to life with his lyrics and music; what results is a perfectly crafted comedy, helped along the way with immaculate choreography (Alistair David), costume (Jocelyn Corderoy), and set design (Diego Pitarch).
The drama begins in a somewhat believable future: Wednesday (Carrie Hope Fletcher) is all grown up and has fallen in love with Lucas (Oliver Ormson), a college heartthrob from Ohio. When she invites his parents over for an introductory dinner at the eerie Addams manor hilarity ensues, both from the polarity of their families’ traditions, and from Samantha Womack and Cameron Blakely’s genius portrayal of Morticia and Gomez, a spellbinding duo who create tension and resolution at the click of Thing’s finger.
Running in congruence to this love story is one for the adults – the infamous white lie. Gomez has to choose: his daughter’s chance at love, or Morticia’s trust, and between the former’s crossbow and the latter’s icy exuberance, Gomez – as he later sings, “like a bull in a ring”, or “a bug in a jar in a broken cable car” – is trapped. He reluctantly chooses his daughter’s trust, and what results can rightfully be called not musical comedy but musical hilarity.
It is difficult to discern at first what we can gain from watching this dysfunctional family, whose sole aim is an apparent crusade against normality with a tendency to the moribund; yet in a touching and emotionally charged finale, we learn that underneath all of the perversity is an honesty; behind the veil of sadness is happiness; and built upon the mask of sadism is a compassion. Put more simply: there is love. And while nobody is perfect, that is the perfection that we must embrace.
This is truly a mesmerising production that had our hearts soaring higher than Uncle Fester (Les Dennis) in his innocent attempt to rocket towards his love (the moon). Worthy of its standing ovation, The Addams Family is a veritable feast for all; funny, moving, and sinister, this Broadway hit has a welcome home upon our shores and also in our hearts.
Photo: Matt Martin