REVIEW | The Addams Family, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Beware. Southampton, I am afraid have some grave news. The Addams family have arrived in your city, and they’ve brought with them wickedly wonderful chaos.

A new twist on a family favourite, The Addams Family is a musical comedy which sees goth princess Wednesday Addams falling in love with – shock horror, a normal boy. When her family find out, all hell breaks loose and complete madness ensues, of course; all accompanied by a live orchestra, and a brilliant original score.

The nation’s favourite foulsome family are joined by some perfectly plain and ordinary Ohioans, as well as the ghosts of Addams’ past, for an evening of chills and thrills.

The cast of THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Credit Matt Martin (3)

Now, I’ve got a little confession to make before I get any further with this review.

I’ve not actually seen the original films.

I know.

This meant I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – but thankfully, it turns out you don’t need to have seen the films to enjoy this show. Equally, if you’re a fan already, you’re sure to love it too! It’s a win-win situation. Ex-hell-ent!

Les Dennis as Uncle Fester (centre) and the cast of THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Credit Matt Martin

My favourite element of the show was the cast. What a talented and motley crew they are! Each character is perfectly cast. Carrie Hope Fletcher was amazing as Wednesday Addams, with a supremely powerful voice and fantastic stage presence. Les Dennis’s Uncle Fester was devilishly delightful and really rather sweet once you got past the odd exterior.

Gomez (Cameron Blakely) and Morticia (Samantha Womack) led the way as the horrible heads of the family and played their parts brilliantly. Blakely perfectly executed Gomez’s humour and latin smoulder, and Womack left Albert Square in the dust as the saucy, sultry matriarch of the group.

Lurch, played by Dickon Gough, was one of my real favourites. He’s an almost silent but superb character, looming in the background, and bringing very simple and effective humour to the stage – as well as an excellent surprise near the end!

The whole cast was bewitching, with some amazing talent being showcased by all, including the chorus.

Samantha Womack as Morticia Addams and Cameron Blakely as Gomez Addams (centre) in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Credit Matt Martin (2)

The set was spooktacular, and the songs kept me spellbound from start to finish. With a few ballads here and there, it was the bolshy, funny comedy pieces that were my favourite. Not only were they catchy, but clever too.

Each cast member had their moment, which I loved, and each song was performed perfectly. Don’t expect the classics though – the recognisable theme song makes a very brief appearance, but otherwise it’s all new material.

I felt there was something of the pantomime about it. With a few adult jokes dotted about, dark, slapstick humour and some truly loveable characters, it really was ideal for all ages. The plot is very simple, and easy to follow, but it’s a lot of fun with plenty of belly laughs and excellent one-liners to keep you entertained.

Cameron Blakely as Gomez Addams and Samantha Womack as Morticia Addams in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Credit Matt Martin

I had a fang-tastic time with the guys and ghouls at the Mayflower,  and the only booing came from the ghostly cast. This musical comedy is fiendishly funny and devilishly enjoyable.

The Addams Family is at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre until the 29th July. Find out more by visiting the Mayflower Theatre website, or see where the tour is heading next.

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