The Addams Family

Date 27th October 2022
Society Ellesmere Port Musical Theatre Company
Venue The Gladstone Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Abigail Bradbury. Assisted by Bradley Bowcett
Musical Director Wendy Dickinson
Choreographer Jessica Martin
Producer Liz Legerton & Chloe Radcliffe
Written By Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice

Report

Author: Joanne Rymer

The Addams Family

27/10/22

Ellesmere Port Musical Theatre Company

The Addams Family is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. The show is based upon The Addams Family characters created by Charles Addams in his cartoons, which depict a ghoulish American family with an affinity for all things macabre

From the moment you hear that familiar 'click, click' sound, you're transported into the wacky world of The Addams Family.

The tone of the show is set from the beginning with ‘When You’re an Addams’, an incredible number that irresistibly demands the audience’s attention. Skilfully choreographed by Jessica Martin, it sets the high standard for the rest of the night; we knew we were in for an exciting evening.

The story concerns the proposed marriage of Wednesday, the daughter of Gomez and Morticia, to Lucas, son of Mal and Alice Beineke, a “normal” family!  Morticia plans an Addams family special dinner party as they attempt to appear ‘normal’, and in true Addams family style, not everything goes to plan.

Head of the family are an extremely talented couple, Mike Jenkinson-Deakin as Gomez and Liz Legerton as his wife Morticia. Mike's performance is truly engaging, from his comedic delivery to his Spanish accent, and Liz is more than his match, never allowing indulgence and effortlessly excelling in deceptively graceful choreography. Liz was undeniably Morticia from the first to the last minute of the show.

As fans of the series we were all awaiting the Gomez Morticia famous tango which was without a doubt high point of the night for me, the emotion that the two shared as they glided across the stage was so exciting to watch. Another highlight for me was Morticia’s ‘Just Around the Corner,’ who knew a song about death could be such a pleasant experience

Their children, Wednesday and Pugsley, are cleverly portrayed by Annabel Partington-Smith and Archie Sprowson. Annabel is excellent, her voice commanding the stage and her acting bringing authenticity to Wednesday’s dilemma: reconciling her love for boyfriend Lucas with that for her family.  I absolutely loved her performances of ‘Pulling’ and ‘Crazier than You’ in act two. Great performance, Annabel.

 Archie is the perfect younger brother, both moody and needy, with impressive confidence when alone on stage. His question for his sister when realising she will be leaving ’will you still come to torture me’ is truly endearing. Well Done

Kate Harcus is a joy as Grandma, presenting a wonderful characterisation in both body and voice; I loved her generating rear and silvercross pram full of ominous magic potions. Kate has infectious stage presence, the audience loved her. While Joe Johnson with his pitch-perfect grunts as Lurch. His deep toned singing voice was a well-received surprise.

Completing the Addams Family is Uncle Fester; the force of nature fabulously given life by Christopher Pacitti, his hilarious love affair with the moon was an odd plot line, however, it definitely worked. The hopeless romantic’s vocals in ‘The Moon and Me’ were truly out of this world a great individual performance

From the moment I sat down in my seat, I was immediately impressed. The set design encapsulated the Gothic atmosphere of the family house perfectly; from the large gate marked with the grand ‘A’, to the large stairway centre stage, the twilight lighting gave the house a mysterious atmosphere. However, the creative sense of design did not stop there; without a doubt, every character’s costume was intricately thought through and suited each character’s personality. The Addams ancestors’ ensemble was amazing, each character able to find their own place in the show and every member moving with a purpose and personality which perfectly complements their place in the family. Jessica must be mentioned again here for her attention to detail, as an often crowded stage is organised at every step.  All credit to Pam Watson and Marge Cooper and their creative team for costume and makeup it was magnificent.

Tomas Bohanna gives a lovely rounded performance as Wednesday’s love interest Lucas, whose character is matched by his father Mal, played by Bradley Bowckett. Both Mal and Lucas very much the all American male. The Beinekes are rounded off by Alice, Jessica Boland, Lucas’s mother; her infectious energy was wonderful to see. Her transition from poetry writing sweetheart to a crazy new woman is expertly handled, with Jessica literally rising above the crowded dinner table to demand the recognition deserved by her performance.

Of course, integral to the show is the music, perfectly executed by the musical director Wendy Dickinson, accompanied by a supremely talented band, who never overpowered the cast just beautifully arranged and delivered. Expertly supported sound and lighting delived  by Derek Bosely, adding the required atmosphere to this spooky production.

Praise to the Director Abigail Bradbury for her inspired casting for this very challenging production. On a private note I am still to be convinced for a silver fox Gomez!!

The Addams Family is an entertaining, enthusiastically performed and completely fun to watch, sure to please both long standing fans and newcomers. It was delightful to see such a varied age range in the audience with the kids enjoying it just as much as the adults.

I had an extremely fun night, thank you for a truly entertaining evening.

Joanne Rymer

NODA