They're creepy, kooky... and great fun; REVIEW: The Addams Family, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff ????....
THE Addams Family are creepy and they're kooky and they're nearly 80 years old.
They've been successful over several entertainment mediums - including their original incarnation as a newspaper cartoon, successful television series and two big-screen cinema outings - and now they're a musical.
Based on the original comic strip version of The Addams Family - created by cartoonist Charles Addams and debuting in The New Yorker in 1938 - The Addamses are an eccentric aristocratic family who delight in the macabre and supernatural.
Added to the list of characters are Wednesday Addams' new boyfriend, Lucas Beineke, and his parents as they're invited to dinner to meet the family.
The Beinekes are an all-American family - they are "normal" while the Addamses are "odd" and a good old clash of cultures ensues.
Samantha Womack plays Morticia, making her Eastenders character Ronnie Mitchell look warm and cuddly, and she has a good musical theatre voice. While fellow ex-soap actor, British TV legend Les Dennis is unrecognisable as Uncle Fester.
Carry Hope Fletcher is the best of a great cast, her flawless voice proving why she's already such a West End star at quite a young age.
The set is beautiful, Diego Pitarch has designed a ramshackle and glittery, gothic, stage version of the Addams house pulled from the comic strip, it even has a haunted painting; likewise his costume designs - in their costumes the ancestors/ghosts bring a sparkle to being dead. It's not a perfect show; it brings to mind Rocky Horror too much, Mal and Alice Beineke are like a middleaged Brad and Janet; the slow walking Lurch joke gets old fast and the character of Grandma is underused. It's still a brilliant show, the cast give it their all - especially theatre veteran Cameron Blakely who seems to be really enjoying himself hamming it up as Gomez.
It's fun to spend an evening in the familiar macabre company of the Addams Family.
| Chris Williams