Association of Community Theatre
Show Reviews 2017
THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Hyde Musical Society
Director: Nigel Griffiths
Musical Director: Paul Lawton
Dance Director: Jean Ashworth
This show is based on the characters created by Charles Addams, an American favourite we know and love through the television series. The Addams Family series set the yard-stick for character presentation.
The director’s concept brought out the best from the macabre family, whilst the staging added to the storyline. The choreography also added to the proceedings giving an edgy image to the number, “One Normal Night”. Completing the creative package, the score was well read and complementary to the production. The audience clicked their fingers to the signature tune, ensuring the members were ready for their “Move Towards the Darkness”.
The intimate theatre was perfect for this gothic musical. The problem was how to stage it with so many stage limitations? Twenty something scenes, with just a couple of blackouts, were very smoothly achieved. The continuity of the storytelling was never interrupted . This was quite an achievement by scene shifters, cast and crew. Stage manager, Nick Ward, ran a very tight ship.
The in-house set had everything that was needed to house the ghoulish family. The lighting provided a spooky edge. Although the sound mix fell a little short in the first act it righted itself by Act Two. Costumes were as the originals, from Pugsley’s striped top to Uncle Fester's coat. The Ancestors were excellently dressed and the clothes were worn well: there was only Jacob Marley missing.
The casting was strong, as all the characters are so well drawn (literally). “Thing” opens the tabs and the audience has to be hooked at once. The first number “When You’re an Addams” introduces the family. Heading it is Gomez, the hot-blooded, sword-fencing, Latin lover. Mathew Rigby was in control as the family patriarch. His accent did not cause confusion in the words he was delivering. He also delivered his music with ease.
Gomez’ temptress, Morticia, is characteristic of the TV adaptation. Alexandra Severn playing the role gave a very confident performance but could have done with more of the set characterisation to carry the part off.
Living with the family is Uncle Fester Addams, who confesses he is in love with the moon, Gavin Chadwick’s performance as the romantic, Uncle, endeared himself to the audience. He knew just how to work it, and he got everything out of the character.
Also part of the Addams clan is Grandma, who is as mad as a box of frogs; Mandy Mallinson brought all her experience to the role of the morbid, fun-hearted relative.
The Addams children are Pugsley and Wednesday. Performing in his first role for the society, Benjamin Lythe, as Pugsley, handled his lines well and his singing filled the auditorium. Kira Richardson played the lovelorn 18 year-old Wednesday Addams, whose story of wanting to get married is told. Kira conveyed the message that love conquers all.
Wednesday’s beau, Lucas, was played by Josh Hankey, and his parents Alice, Abbie Lloyd, and Mel, Rob Haslam. These outsiders are invited for a meal to meet Wednesday's family. Events change the kooky, upside-down, world of the Addams. They all maintained their entertaining personalities. Abbie Lloyd’s vocals enhanced the show.
Lurch (Paul Wilson) and the Ancestors were great support, integral to the success of the piece, and that’s my “Full Disclosure”……