The Addams Family

Date 22nd April 2016
Society Banbridge Musical Society
Venue Iveagh Movie Studio, Banbridge
Director Leonard Anderson
Musical Director Colin Loughead
Choreographer Leonard Anderson

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Author: Sheelagh Hobart

Fast becoming one of my favourite musicals, Banbridge MS’s production of The Addams Family turned out to be one of their best in recent years. “The Hand” emerged through the curtain during the overture to welcome us but it was not spotlit. A disembodied Hand scuttled onto the stage on several times during the show but again, a spotlight would have ensured that no one missed it. The basic Set was a solid Addams house with central staircase and upper landings. A painted cloth was flown in for outdoor scenes and a gauze for projections, which were excellent. These enabled scene changes to be swift and Props were added with quiet efficiency. Costumes by Costume Corner were very good – family were authentic and Ancestors were varied and original in shades of white. Care was evident in application of Make up and everyone, from Principal to chorus, was suitably macabre (except of course the aliens from Ohio!) Lighting was atmospheric and Sound allowed every word to be heard – allowed by good diction. The Chorus was always engaged and engaging; with strong vocals.

Members of the Addams Family were each well cast. Pugsley (James Woods) was funny and strong willed – a thoroughly believable character with a penchant for torture! His sister Wednesday was played by Anna-Maria Boyle; showing her teenage angst as she wrestled with young love and family loyalty. She sang and acted with confidence. Her boyfriend Lucas Beineke (Scott Skelton) was a ‘normal’ college student. He worked well with Anna-Maria and with his parents Alice and Mal, who were conservative and boring. Played by Rosemary Kelly, Alice’s transformation from respectable housewife to uninhibited truthteller was hilarious! Having told her husband Mal a few home truths when ‘under the influence’, he moved from stuffy, to the hippy ‘Grateful Dead’ follower of his youth! Ian Davidson was convincing as both characters! Twenty eight year old Nicola Brenchley took the role of 104 year old Grandma Addams with zany energy! Jim McGuigan played Uncle Fester with all the elements of the endearing character – he looked absolutely right and had the appropriate joyous child-like presence. The family butler Lurch (David McClelland) was played with required straight face and dead slow movement. He surprised us all with his deep bass voice at the end.

Finally were Paddy McGennity as head of the family Gomez, and Emma Kelly as his wife. Paddy maintained his Spanish accent well and had a great relationship with his family, especially daughter Wednesday. Emma was willowy and alluring with black dress ‘down to Venezuala’! Obviously the strength of the family whose word was law, Emma epitomised the character with beautiful movement and vocals.

Director/Choreographer Leonard Anderson brought a well-paced show to the stage and created the right atmosphere for this macabre comedy. Choreography was fun. MD Colin Loughead and his 7 piece orchestra, though somewhat cramped managed the sometimes challenging score very well. And who would have thought I would leave the theatre singing “Death is Just Around the Corner” with such a smile on my face!! My thanks to everyone who contributed to a memorable evening.