It was a joy to get this role.. I felt lost after EastEnders finished; IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR FOR ADDAMS STAR SAMANTHA.
EASTENDERS star Samantha Womack and showbiz legend Les Dennis have revealed they can't wait to come to Ireland with their new show, The Addams Family musical.
It is set for Dublin's Bord Gais Energy Theatre next month, with the pair joining West End actress Carrie Hope Fletcher for the stage adaptation of the hit series.
Samantha - who is best known for playing feisty Ronnie Mitchell on the BBC soap - said she was "really grateful" to land the role of matriarch Morticia Addams after her character was killed off on EastEnders earlier this year.
She told the Irish Mirror: "Some transitions are easier than others - this wasn't difficult.
"There's a stiffness to Morticia and she isn't too far away from Ronnie Mitchell. But it was a joy for me really because I felt quite lost after that job finished.
"This was something to kind of grab on to with both hands and I'm really grateful for it."
The 44-year-old is unrecognisable in her new role, swapping her blonde locks and Cockney twang for a morbid style and deep, American accent.
Samantha said: "When I started it was just lowering my voice.
"I knew I wanted her to be lower than me, so that was a very obvious thing I could start working on before rehearsals, just finding that sound and then that kind of old fashioned American accent."
The Addams Family has already toured several cities in the UK and Samantha said fans of Albert Square have reacted well to her latest gig.
She added: "So far they have been really supportive. We had quite a strong fan base, that character particularly.
"Obviously they're devastated that the character's ended so I'm kind of leading them gently from weeping at Ronnie's grave. Apart from that they're happy."
After close to a decade in the BBC soap, Samantha is returning to her theatre roots - something she's delighted to do after being on the small screen for so long.
She said: "I needed theatre. Sometimes you can get lost when you do studio work for a long time because it's disjointed.
"Particularly if you're doing a job for a long time, it sort of inhabits you.
"Because that had gone so suddenly and so quickly, a character that I had lived with for almost 10 years, I really needed the theatre back to kind of remind me of what I did and what I could do.
"So it was a really nice thing for me."
Meanwhile, Family Fortunes star Les Dennis - who plays Uncle Fester - said people are often surprised when they find out he can sing. He added: "People ask me, 'Have you ever done a musical before?' I reply, 'Yeah, only about nine'.
"I think if you do a show like Family Fortunes for as long as I did it -about 15 or 16 years - the people put you in that one little box.
"I've done loads of theatre, straight plays and musical theatre as well. "It's always a surprise and we all laugh that in a lot of reviews it says that I'm a revelation at 63." Les has done everything from presenting TV shows to acting in soaps and said he enjoys throwing himself into random roles. He said: "If a job comes up I just say yes if it's something different or if it scares me.
"The Guardian put us in their top 10 picks and they wrote the 'long and strange career of Les Dennis takes yet another left turn' - which I think is a compliment.
"It means people kind of second guess me. In this kind g of business, to have longevity, you have to keep reinventing and that's hopefully what I do.
"Keep moving and they can't hit you." The former Coronation Street actor is no stranger to Irish shores and said he's excited to spend time with his family here.
Les said: "I've been to Dublin before and we had a great time.
"I'm particularly excited about coming this time because my kids are a bit older and we have family here.
"My wife Claire's family are from Newry so we're looking forward to catching up with them and seeing the city.
"It's nice to settle and have a bit of fun - I'm looking forward to the craic."
The Addams Family will run in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre from August 15 to 26. Tickets are priced from [euro]15 and are on sale now.
''There's a stiffness to her that isn't too far away from Ronnie samantha womack ON PLAYING MORTICIA
FRESH START TV star Samantha Womack
GOOD FORTUNELES Dennis and in his Family Fortunes days, right
END OF DAYS Samantha as Ronnie in EastEnders
DEADLY DUO With Cameron Blakely who plays Gomez
MUSIC FEST Les Dennis starring as Uncle Fester
CREEPY CLAN The cast of The Addams Family musical coming to Dublin