The Addams Family

Date 31st October 2019
Society Carmarthen Amateur Operatic Society
Venue The Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen
Type of Production Musical
Director Luke Spencer
Musical Director Iestyn Griffiths
Choreographer Frances Chester

Report

Author: Matt Hampson

The Addams Family Musical is a story with the well-known and loveable characters with an added touch of madness. Wednesday is all grown up and has fallen in love. Trying to bring two families together, Wednesday wants a simple and normal dinner with nothing Addams like at all. But in true Addams family style, everything goes wrong but maybe for the best.

Before I even start this report I want to say that every member of ‘The Addams Family’ cast is excellent from start to finish. Benn-Llewellyn Williams as Gomez Addams!!!. Where to start, Benn truly embodies his character Gomez with his little quirks but also adding a bit of madness into it. Benn truly made Gomez as a character even more charming and loving than I’d imagined. A little birdy mentioned that Benn only joined that cast 4 weeks ago, although I must say this didn’t show one bit. I’ve seen 3 versions of this show and Benn well and truly nailed this part.

I noticed a young man from the very beginning - Austin Pickles who played Pugsley to perfection. Not your typical, short, rounded, cheeky child whatsoever. Every time he was on that stage, he was captivating and still retained my expectancy of who Pugsley should be! Definitely a star of the future!

Morticia played by Claire Richards gave a very strong portrayal and held her character throughout the show. What seems to be a cold character in Morticia, she played this with a warmth and sex appeal which in my opinion is who Morticia is. CAOS are nurturing talent and Catrin Lewis who played Wednesday is no exception. Her stage presence is to be applauded and much like Austin, her character was excellent.

No musical is a musical with the comedy characters (although to be honest this show is packed with them) and Carwyn Davies (Uncle Fester) and Mark Owen (Lurch) hand the audience in the palm of their hand from the very start. Timing is everything with comedy and one can lose an audience very quickly without it. However, this was very much not the case and the delivery was on point! The supporting principals were again well cast and when their moments came, they delivered.

I am in love with Rhian Hiley’s voice! The ability to smash out “Waiting” is always one I wait for and she absolutely delivered it! For me, it was the song delivery of the night. Of course, the part of Alice needs to be matched with the actor playing Mal & at just 16 years old Gethin Hopley more than held his own with Rhian and worked very well with Alfie Evans (Lucas). Its never easy playing an older character, especially when your son is older in real life, but he was totally believable as was Alfie who’s love and affection for Wednesday was well played and rounded off an excellent principal cast. I am not 100% who played Grandma on Thursday evening (as the part was shared) but again, the character was totally believable although I would have liked her to be have been a little crazier in her portrayal. The ensemble was well used and would ordinarily be sat in the dressing room for a lot of the show. Director Luke Spencer has included them as often as possible yet hasn’t detracted from the body of the show which is very important with Addams Family. The choreography from Frances Chester was effective and delivered well by the company. Carol Evans has worked very hard with Costuming the show and along with a few additions from Marigolds provided a great costume design for the cast which was very effective and not over complicated which was lovely to see.

As a creative myself (20 years as an MD), I must mention Luke Spencer and Iestyn Griffiths. Musically this show was very strong! The band were tight and well directed by Iestyn, the balance between cast and band was probably the best I’ve heard in some time and should be commended! Sound is a huge bug bare of mine however I was delighted for the entire production. Lighting design was stunning! Again, one of the best plots I have seen and from the start it encapsulates the theme of the musical, with very few blackouts! Luke Spencer has put his heart and soul into this show and that is very clear. Each character has been created, developed and then delivered with out compromise and that in this show is vital.

I must say a huge thank you to CAOS for the warm welcome to myself and my consort! Beautiful hospitality, smiling faces and a society who are clearly very proud of their show….and so you should be. Congratulations!