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  • Writer's pictureFrances

The Addams Family Musical Review | Opera House | Manchester

You may remember the comic strip, sixties TV show or multiple animations in which the macabre American family brought their unconventional rituals to your attention. The Addams’ bizarre family dynamic is a satire on American ideals, but their far from frightening presence has developed into a watered-down parody of itself. Yet, despite their numerous reincarnations, the Addams Family musical offers an injection of fabulous performances to offset the familiar. With a family tree of familiar faces to take on Gomez (Cameron Blakely), Morticia (Joanne Clifton), Wednesday (Kingsley Morton), Pugsley, and, Fester (Scott Paige), the production runs through a traditional tale of diversity and difference, enveloping the 84-year-old family.

After partying with past family members at the graveyard, Uncle Fester enlists the help of the dead to ensure that Wednesday’s dinner with her muggle boyfriend, Lucas goes according to plan when the two families meet. Predictability ensues. Nevertheless, The Addams Family values are worthy of repeat viewing, with Matthew White’s production presenting a stunning set on the Opera House stage, and Andrew Lippa’s lyrics conjuring up compellingly catchy tracks. The narrative is rightfully nonsensical, offering audiences a character-driven, grounded storyline, teamed with emotionally driven musical numbers that keep the show upbeat and bright. With songs including Trapped, What If? and Happy/Sad fuelling the famous gothic family’s plot, the show feels more reminiscent of the musical Wicked without the bad witch.

The families traditional storyline falls in line with its 60’s live action series but offers far more impressive special effects. With director Matthew White infusing the narrative with wonderfully lavish staging and an incredibly talented and likeable cast to turn audiences over to the dark side. Distractions don’t usually save a musical’s material but between the ghostly ancestors’ dance numbers and phenomenal floor to ceiling sets from Diego Pitrach, there are enough surprises to keep the Addams looking refreshed and relevant. The old-school production techniques also gave the show an easy-going, nostalgic feel, making it a delight to watch Wednesday shoot her arrow across the room or witness Festus fly his jetpack to the moon.

The Addams Family Musical offers a relaxed and entertaining production with a charming soundtrack attached. The show is enhanced by its high-level production that allows its large ensemble cast to roam around in the background of each performance and ensure there is constantly something happening in its two-tiered haunted house. Blakey as Gomez and Morton as Wednesday deliver fantastic vocal performances that carry the production musically. While Paige and Clifton look completely at ease in their macabre roles, throwing themselves into the lovesick and hunchbacked positions within the comedy.

The Addams Family Musical is far from a nightmarish revisiting of its gothic origin as its refreshingly upbeat melodies are unsurprisingly conventional for the family friendly musical. However, this unconventional nuclear family is determined to leave you with a spring in your step and an earworm of its theme tune on the way out.

Tickets are available via the ATG link

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