REVIEW : THE ADDAMS FAMILY – CLIFFS PAVILION SOUTHEND

The kooky and spooky Addams Family raised the dead blowing away the cobwebs and the audience at the Cliffs Pavilion last night. A beautifully staged version of the 2010 broadway musical with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa captures the essence of the 1960s TV show to perfection. Large scale sets, quirky scenery, stunning costumes and an eye for detail for even the smallest of props, culminates in an impressive immersive theatrical experience of Broadway & West End quality.

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Wednesday Addams has found love in the guise of Lucas Beineke, an all-American boy. What first seems as a clear contrast between ‘strange’ and ‘normal’ becomes increasingly blurred as we learn more about the characters and the skeletons hidden in their cupboards. The characters are in constant conflict with their multi-threaded relationships and the general world around them.

As Gomez and Morticia Addams, (Cameron Blakely and Samantha Womack) are charmingly engaging. With perfectly tuned comedic timing, spot on characterisation and physical subtleties, this odd couple ooze sex appeal which overspills into the first few rows of the audience during the brilliantly choreographed Tango De Amor – a Spanish style flamenco tango remix. The flamboyant and animated Gomez clearly knows who is the boss in this relationship.

35505_fullCarrie Hope-Fletcher as Wednesday Addams has her loyal following of teenage fans in the auditorium tonight to show their appreciation. But Carrie doesn’t need her social media presence to command this performance. She is a West End star in her own right. Her impeccable vocals offer contrasting dynamics. They are gentle yet powerful in tone, her diction concise with every word understood. Carrie’s acting is first rate as Wednesday is torn between dark and light. Her solo performance of Pulled is as perfect as I have ever seen it and the reaction from the opening night crowd was fantastic.

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