The Addams Family at the Marlowe Theatre Review

5/28/2017


On Thursday 25th May I went and saw The Addams Family at the Marlowe Theatre. Though it has been professionally performed on Broadway, The Addams Family has never been showcased in the UK; until now of course. I believe that there is a reason why. I found that the musical didn’t quite live up to its expectations. Even before I saw it I was skipping multiple songs in the soundtrack. The Addams Family misses that pizazz that I look for when I go to see a show. There’s some creepiness, but not quite enough to get you hooked. Some comedic lines did not land, and I didn’t laugh as much as I expected I would.

I don’t think that this is due to direction or the performers. The performers did the best that they could do with the material. Carrie Hope Fletcher stood out among the rest, with her extremely powerful voice and bold facial expressions. The main character, Gomez, played by Cameron Blakely also stole the show. He had finesse and poise, plus his Spanish accent was spot on; from what I can tell anyway! He was very lively and charismatic, creating moments to laugh at. As for Morticia Addams, I didn’t quite find her creepy enough. I’ve never seen The Addams Family, but I’d expect when talking about enjoying death and all things ghoulish that the mother would be a little more sinister with an added sprinkle of sultry. The Samantha Womack played the character as mature, comedic and slightly sultry, but there could’ve been more seduction and oomph.

I found myself turning off a few times during some long scenes or songs. A lot of the songs were too repetitive, most sounded the same, and the ones that didn’t often didn’t quite fit. The first Act felt like a blur to me and it was hard to pay proper attention. I missed a lot of lines and jokes as the melody often sounded monotone. There were times as well when there was too much happening on stage, taking away from the matter of the song itself. To add to that, a lot of scenes either didn’t flow into each other, or didn’t make sense at all.

All criticisms aside, there were scenes that hooked me in, that I wish I could see more. It’s no wonder that Pulled is such a popular song as it is to die for! It doesn’t quite fit with some of the other songs, but it really is a hit. Not to mention that Fletcher does an outstanding job in performing the song. Another favourite in Act 1 is Full Disclosure. A longer scene that is really fun to watch! The Game, a group activity where you drink from a chalice and tell a secret, is something completely relatable. Everyone bounced off of each other in this scene. What was going to happen next? Whose secret is going to come out next? There was a little bit of suspense with that sprinkle of comedy and drama. It is at this point in The Addams Family, that we see Charlotte Page's immense talent. The moment when Alice Beineke drinks from the chalice is one of the best parts of the show. Her operatic voice bursts out and we see her ability to play the dark as well as the light.

I enjoyed Act 2 a lot more but like in Act 1, a lot of the act 2 songs sounded like filler, and again, I really enjoyed Fletcher’s performance in her duet with Lucas, Crazier Than You. Another catchy song that speaks of passion and taking chances; one of my favourites in fact, I'm sure the romance helps with that. It's something incredibly relatable and fun! However, like Pulled it didn’t fit in with the rest of the music.

I have no idea why Les Dennis’ character, Uncle Fester, was in love with the moon, and whether he actually did meet the spirit of the moon in his song. It wasn’t quite clear. That part was strange, very very strange. I like quirky storylines, in fact I love them, but this musical didn’t seem to know whether it was surreal or normal. One song would be comedic like The Producers, and then suddenly we’d have an emotional number that doesn’t fit in with the dissonance of other songs. I would’ve loved to have heard more songs like the When You're An Addams, a bit more upbeat with some sass. Unfortunately, we had slow numbers such as Just Around the Corner, and long-winded exposition numbers like, Gomez' solo, Trapped. The Addams Family was confused with what theme it was going for. In one scene its stagey comedy like The Producers, then it’s emotional rock like Next to Normal or Rock of Ages, and suddenly at the end I feel like I’m watching the end of Cats. Are we going for classic music, rock or 80’s? I’m confused, mixtures of styles are common in musicals but these songs don’t fit together at all.

Although I didn’t find the musical particularly captivating, the costumes were wonderful. I loved the idea of all the ancestors, and their different weathered outfits. I would’ve loved them to have more involvement in the show, perhaps within the storyline. My favourite of them were the ringleader and the geisha.

It’s a pity that I wasn’t impressed like I wanted to be. I would’ve liked the storyline to be more complex, and at times, truer to how certain characters are. But perhaps The Addams Family is a style of musical that just isn’t for me. Despite the show lacking consistency, I’m glad that I went to see it, there were moments that I loved, and I got to see some incredible actors. I’ll be singing the opening song and clicking for days.

The Addams Family has taken social media by storm, with lots of people giving it five star reviews, so I’m sure lots of people disagree with my 3 star rating. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts if you’ve seen the show. Do you disagree with me, if so why? The Addams Family is touring the UK right now, so you could join the discussion by seeing it yourself! Alternatively, listen to some of the songs and let me know what you think. That’s all for this week’s Show Sunday.


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