The Addams Family

Date 21st October 2016
Society St Pauls Musical Theatre Company
Type of Production Musical
Director Ann Warr

Report

Author: Budge Grounsell

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I might have named this show 10 characters in search of a script, for in a reversal of  usual form the performance of the players outweighed the “book”.

Listening to members of the audience as they filed out or into the bar is often a way to get a  reflection of how they saw the show and I heard several comment that they were not sure they understood what it was all about.  The storyline seemed simple enough yet and it wasn’t, which was a shame because although the individual members of the cast played their parts very well the libretto did not do them justice. There should have been many more laughs than escaped from the audience, who were very muted in  their response at times. The songs were a highlight and much in keeping with the context of the show

Director Ann Warr did a fine job in getting her principles in characterand with one exception the action moved at a good pace. The exception was the dinner scene which was too long and at times hard to follow. Shame. Musical Director  Sian James brought out some quality singing and the choreography of  Claire Tomkinson and Lynne O’Connor was well in keeping with the needs of the plot.  What of the cast?

Stuart Raphel as Gomez the titular head of the family coped well with the dilemma of  satisfying Wife and Daughter. Plenty of light and shade in this interpretation and he once again proved he can sing. Helen Rex very much looked and played the femme fatale n her role as Morticia although her "crisis of confidence about getting old" is a very uneasy narrative twist and perhaps too far out of character from the Morticia we have grown to know and love. Having said that she did very well.

 Alison Bentley-Jones  looked exactly as Addams family fans might have imagined  Wednesday when grown up and not only looked right even down to the striped tights but delivered the part excellently whilst brother Pugsley was himself the grown up obnoxious child from the Television show. The “Torture” scene  between the latter two was one of the highlights of the show. Uncle Fester(Joanna Barker) looked like a fugitive from Area 51 but more than got away with it, the shuffling walk certainly helped. Grandma was beautifully played by Janet Bird. Janet is a seasoned performer and demonstrated this  each time she appeared.  Completing the Addams Family group was of course Lurch (Tom Lee) and Jean Sanchez as the “moon”

When it comes down to the more “normal”” characters the Director once again scored by the differentiation introduced between the  two families.. Sue Rannard was outstanding as the atypical American wife and was a delight ; Husband  Mal (Graham Turner) complete with gaudy shirt  shorts and straw trilby exemplified  the mid American Male we so often see, Jason Lockley their son was again what we imagine young American Males to be like,baseball cap and all.  They might have been a real family. 

Backup and integral to much of the action were the ancestral ghosts straight from Michael Jackson;s “Thriller”.  Great wigs or Clever hairdressing?

The sound was ok in the first half but suffered somewhat in the second wirh  some strange “rattlings”  from I imagine the house speakers. My consolation is that I heard it was worse on Saturday.  The scenery was  simple but fit for purpose and the costumes fine. As always Societies are fortunate to have strong backstage teams and St Pauls are no exception… Well done everybody   Budge