The audience at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, were really impressively attired for this Halloween performance of the UK premier tour of The Addams Family musical. The plot is pretty basic (daughter Wednesday brings home a ‘normal’ boyfriend) but what really brings the show to life – if that’s the right word in this context – is Andrew Lippa’s score (by the way, his musical Big Fish, starring the incomparable Kelsey Grammer, opens for a limited London run this month at The Other Palace).
The imaginative set with roaming staircases (as seen in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Flashdance recently at The Orchard) gives variety without adding delays for scene changes. Samantha Womak (you know – her from EastEnders who died in the swimming pool) seems effortless in creating Morticia’s gothic allure whilst Cameron Blakely as Gomez works his spats off throughout as a surprisingly loveable head of the peculiar Addams family household. The chemistry between the two of them is palpable. Carrie Hope Fletcher is on top form as Wednesday with a beautiful and powerful voice. The number ‘Pulled’ really showed off her talents. Fester, played by Scott Paige understudying for Les Dennis, carried off a bizarre part of the plot with charming sincerity.
There is a highly versatile band and hard working chorus, which, even with very little to do at times, committed to their deathly characters with a stoic professionalism. The show was a Broadway hit with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in the lead roles, so surely we need to give it a West End run as well?
It’s been on tour since the Spring but is now at its most seasonally topical, so catch it in its last UK incarnation at The Orchard Theatre in Dartford – unless you fancy making the trip to the tour’s final destination of Singapore from 15 November 2017!