Wednesday, July 6

The Addams Family – Opera House, Manchester

Dinner is served this week down at the Opera House in Manchester. Hosting are the most ‘normal’ family you’ll ever hope to meet! Matthew White directs with music and lyrics from Andrew Lippa.

Wednesday Addams has met the love of her life, Lucas Beineke and following their secret engagement has organised dinner to allow the two families to meet and to pick the perfect moment to reveal their news. During dinner, other secrets are revealed, and the evening does not go exactly as the young lovers planned.

Scott Paige returns to the show after a short break to narrate the story as Uncle Fester. Paige owns every scene he appears in with exemplary comic timing and facial expressions. Ryan Bennett as larger than life butler Lurch takes his time on stage before captivating us all at the climax of the show.

Carole Ball plays centurion Grandma and delivers by far the best joke of the night, one for the adults and Grant McIntyre convincingly plays a young Pugsley and proves he has a superb voice during his solo number which tugs at your heartstrings.

Overseeing all are the heads of the family, Gomez and Morticia Addams. Joanne Clifton brings her dance experience to the dark role especially during her tango in act 2 which was hypnotising from start to finish. As Gomez, the head of the household (depending on whose view you take) Cameron Blakely played this role on the previous UK tour and it shows as he totally embodied the role giving a masterclass in character and comedic acting. Add to this a fantastic voice and you have the standout performance of the evening, a joy from start to finish.

Photo: Pamela Raith

On its last tour Carrie Hope Fletcher played the role of Wednesday Addams giving Kingsley Morton huge shoes to fill this time round, and boy did she do just that. Her performance of Pulled, a tricky song to sing was stunning and delivered effortlessly. Opposite Morton, Matthew Ives played the timid Lucas Beineke sensitively. His onstage chemistry with Morton was beautiful and shows the undeniable fact that understudies in theatre are one of the most valuable assets a show can have.

Long time married parents Mal and Alice Beineke played by Sean Kingsley and Kara Lane have probably the biggest journey of all in the show with Kara Lane displaying unbelievable vocals during the act 1 finale, Waiting which got the biggest ovation of the evening.

Supported by a small group of ancestors who were ever present in the background, this is a show that is pretty much faultless bar a few opening night spotlight cues missing the mark.

I must commend set designer Diego Pitarch who has designed something beautiful on the eye. The use of two huge staircases was inspired and helped set scenes effortlessly. An 8-piece band under the direction of Bob Broad were faultless from overture to play off.

If you have a free evening, or afternoon this week get on down to the Opera House and see this stunning piece of musical theatre and exercise your chuckle muscles, it is delicious.

The Addams Family are dining out in Manchester until the 23rd April and you can book your seat at the table by visiting https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-addams-family/opera-house-manchester/

Reviewer: Paul Downham

Reviewed: 19th April 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★

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