The Second UK tour of the neighbours from hell The Addams Family moves into the Sheffield Lyceum this week – and what an entrance! Originally conceived by Charles Addams in 1938 in the New Yorker. With the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa, this spine chillingly spectacular tour is directed by Matthew White and designed by Diego Pitarch. The choreography by Alistair David from the initial finger clicks through the Addams Family letter box to the full ensemble splendour is the beating heart of the stage show. Elaborate, abundant and exquisitely amusing, the ethereal ensemble takes this new production to a higher level than its predecessor. The set is yet another star of the show with slick movement and sumptuous detail its huge size never detracts attention from the stage antics but looms in its own role. Both the lighting design (Ben Cracknall) and sound design (Richard Brooker) play similar roles in the production, adding to the ambience just the right amount. Technically, The Addams Family is about as close to perfect as I have seen in a long time in the theatre.
This new version of the show sees Cameron Blakely perfectly reprise his 2017 role of Gomez and he has further grown into it, the great chemistry on stage between himself and Morticia played by Strictly Come Dancing champion Joanna Clifton oozes and their much-awaited Tango de Amor is something to behold! Clifton takes the physical embodiment of the Morticia character to another level with her heavily detailed characterisation of the elegant movement, almost to the point of floating at times!
As the story unfolds, we are introduced to Gomez and Morticia’s two children, the ultimate princess of darkness – daughter Wednesday and Pugsley the pain loving son. Now, Wednesday shares a secret with her father Gomez, shock, horror… she’s in love with a sweet ‘normal’ boy and he and his family are coming to dinner and……. they want to get married! Kingsley Morton (Wednesday) plays no second fiddle to the previous tours Carrie Hope Fletcher and with her powerhouse vocal and slight ‘punkie’ feel to the character, brings the house down with her rendition of ‘Pulled’. Matthew Ives played the love interest Lucas Beineke on the night I saw the production and the chemistry between the two was almost tangible. The duet ‘Crazier Than You’ was a real show stealer. Scott Paige as Uncle Fester was a standout performer for me, with his loveable guidance through the evening’s proceedings, even with his manic behaviour you just couldn’t help loving him! With Valda Aviks as Grandma, Grant McIntyre as Pugsley, Dickon Gough as Lurch the Addams family is completed. Now let’s add the house guests. Sean Kingsley and Kara Lane as the ‘Normal’ Beinekes are hilarious in role depicting that the ideal ‘normal’ just doesn’t exist. Watch out for Lane’s vocal it is simply….wonderful.
The Addams Family really is a wonderful evening’s entertainment for all ages and this production gets it right in so many ways. With catchy songs, sumptuous staging, knock out performances, you can’t go wrong. And the message – Family is everything, no matter how dysfunctional others see it, it is Love that matters. I left the theatre thinking about the loved ones we lose that are always around us – a message beautifully personified by the ensemble in this production. The Addams Family is playing at the Sheffield Lyceum until Saturday 27th November 2021 – Go join them for dinner and play the Disclosure ‘Game’, you’ll love it! https://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/events/the-addams-family
Reviewer: Tracey Bell
Reviewed: 23rd November 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★