The Addams Family to me is always the film version with Christina Ricci as Wednesday, and I think in the back of my mind I was expecting to see a carbon copy of the film cast when I went to see The Addams Family musical at the Bristol Hippodrome yesterday. It took me a few minutes to adjust to the ‘wrong’ faces and to the idea of a grown-up and in-love Wednesday, but once I got past that I was hooked on this story.
This, like many of the things I enjoy, isn’t deep and meaningful theatre, it’s an light hearted viewing of some incredibly talented performers on a well-designed stage. I hesitate to call The Addams Family ‘feelgood’ as anything that contains the song ‘Death is just Around the Corner’ with a list of possible ways of expiring can’t really carry that term. It was funny and beautiful and dark and silly and very, very enjoyable. I took my eleven year old son along, half expecting him to announce it was ‘boring’; he surprised me by even liking the slower song/dance numbers , although I was a little glad that a couple of the naughtier one-liners seemingly went over his head. It was a great mother-son night out.
I’d have to recommend this as worth seeing for lots of reasons. The set is impressive, the lighting perfect, the music catchy, the costumes sumptious. The dancing was sometimes romantic, sometimes elegant, sometimes silly but always lovely to watch, and I loved the ensemble of assorted Ancestors, each with their own personality. Les Dennis was absent from his role as Uncle Fester last night, but his understudy Scott Paige did a fine job. The stand-out for me was the singing from Charlotte Page as Alice Beineke who has a stunning voice, noticeable even in a cast with lots of great singers, but all of the cast did a fine job.
Obviously I came home well and truly ear-wormed. I noticed a bit of humming from the boy this morning too – I think this was a winner.
The Addams Family plays at Bristol Hippodrome until 23rd September
Image by Matt Martin, with thanks