Sunday, July 14

The Addams Family – Memorial Hall, Innerleithen

The Addams Family, a musical comedy, promises ghoulish jokes and familiar characters. These were dished with aplomb by a society with 123 years of productions under its belt. Innerleithen and District Amateur Operatic Society served its apprenticeship many years ago and, while the name Amateur sticks and the commitment to community involvement is at the very heart of each performance, this circle of talented singers, dancers and actors are anything if not professional in their commitment and style.

The main characters are spot on: Morticia, played by Angela Duncan, oozes sensuality and confidence; Gomez (Douglas Russell) has a wonderful voice, fabulous delivery and great comic timing; Erin Thompson as Wednesday is suitably grumpy and very likeable as the crazy love-sick teenager and Rosie Graham as Pugsley is hugely entertaining. Dale Burnside (Fester), Karen Wilson (Grandma) and Jamie McCubbin (Lurch) complete the Addams family to perfection. There is not one weak link.

The local GP, Roger Brydon, shows the other side of his character as Mal Bieneke. Nicole Graham as Alice does a superb solo expressing her dissatisfaction with marriage and Jonnie M-G (Lucas) completes the Bieneke trio, working effectively with Erin Thompson as the love interest.

Photo: Graham Riddell

I particularly enjoyed Just around the Corner, Crazier Than You and Tango De Amor. Having said that, I must confess it was all good. The surprise from Lurch was a joy to behold.

Musical theatre is a detailed and huge undertaking. This troupe has it nailed. The music was excellent, including Michael Gemmell on piano. Such young talent will flourish at the Conservatoire come autumn and will be a big miss for the organisation.

As you enter the hall expect spiders and dead birds to greet you. The set is lush and varied. The lighting is well thought out and, apart from one or two slow-ish transitions, it hits the mark. The chorus of ancestors are decked out lavishly. Clearly, Innerleithen and District are a ducks-in-a-row type of organisation.

The group has a youth section to keep developing talent for the future. Moreover, it has a membership including folk who’ve been involved for as much as forty years. This kind of grass-roots theatre is where our next generation of talent comes from. The West End gives thanks for devotees of this calibre.

It was a brilliant show. It was much appreciated by the audience. I would go again. Catch it if you can.

Playing until 30th March, www.idaos.org.uk

Reviewer: Kathleen Mansfield

Reviewed: 26th March 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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