Not even the Addams Family are immune from Covid-19, however tonight at Z-Arts after nearly 2 years of delays they finally sat down for dinner watched by an excited audience, and it was well worth the wait. Manchester Musical Youth (MMY) Grads are back!
If you are not aware of the story, it follows Wednesday Addams who falls in love with Lucas Beineke. Wednesday announces that the Beineke’s are coming over for dinner so that her extraordinary family can meet their ordinary one before announcing their engagement. What follows is a night of truth and revelations that could change the future for both families forever.
I have to congratulate director Tom Jennings, not only has he brought this show to the stage in a fun and inventive way he also stepped in to play Gomez Addams with just a few days’ notice when the original actor had to pull out of the show due to injury. Gomez is hardly off stage all show and it is testament to Tom’s professionalism that he was able to fulfil the role so convincingly.
Gomez’s wife, Morticia is played by powerhouse Madeleine Healey who had every facial expression needed for the role, a swag about her and performed her solo numbers with huge confidence. Sarah Barron played 103-year-old Grandma causing chaos and confusion wherever she went. Her scene with Pugsley just before dinner was one of my favourites of the evening
Max Lawrence gave as expected another faultless performance as Pugsley and Daniel Meyer as a confident Uncle Fester held the show together as the narrator of the piece. His big solo number in act 2 was beautifully done as he serenaded his one love.
Matthew Bache glided across the stage in record slow time as the seemingly mute butler Lurch whilst Lucas’ parents Mal (Billy Morrison) and Alice (Sarah Binns) worked well as a couple. Sarah also had an eleventh hour call up from her role as choreographer to play Alice after the original actress tested positive for Covid earlier this week. Both Sarah and Tom are the epitome of the phrase “the show must go on”.
Finally, Wednesday (Eleanor Daintith) and Lucas (Connor Ryan) were perfectly matched as the young lovers displaying believable chemistry. Daintith performed what is probably the best known song from the show “Pulled” alongside an on-stage torture chamber, whilst their duet in act 2 saw Ryan come very close to stealing the show with his powerful vocals.
A cast of ancestors completed the cast which included Sarah Elizabeth playing the moon amongst other roles. The ancestors were used creatively moving the basic set pieces and providing set decoration themselves.
The sparce set gave the audience a rare chance to see the large MMY orchestra in all their glory as they sat at the rear of the stage. Usually hidden away in the depths of the venue it really was a joy to see, and they sounded exceptional under the direction of Kimberly Holden.
The Addams Family never fails to entertain. This fun musical has you laughing from start to finish and tonight was no exception.
If you can find tickets which are very limited snap them up straight away before the show closes on Sunday. https://www.z-arts.org/events/the-addams-family/
Reviewer: Paul Downham
Reviewed: 4th November 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★