Review: The Addams Family return in all their ghoulish glory

The Addams Family have arrived at the Festival Theatre
The Addams Family have arrived at the Festival Theatre
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THEY’RE crazy, kooky and spooky... and the audience were clicking along from the moment the band struck up their anthemic theme.

Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street

* * * * *

Yes, the Addams Family are back in all their ghoulishly glory thanks to a dream cast of television and musical theatre favourites.

Inspired by the cartoon creations of Charles Addams, The Addams Family (Gomez, Morticia, Lurch, Uncle Fester, Grandma, Wednesday, Pugsley, and Thing) have been around for just shy of 80 years now, first appearing in the New Yorker magazine in 1938.

In the 60s they transferred to television, a decade later an animated series was released, and in the 90s the silver screen beckoned.

With so much goodwill out there for the freaks from Cemetery Lane, it was only a matter of time before New York’s most dysfunctional family made their Broadway debut. That happened in 2010.

Now, with fresh musical arrangements and a updated script, this new touring version, co-produced by the Festival Theatre, bursts into life with When You’re An Addams, a big, spirited opening number worthy of the show’s Broadway roots.

Of course, being an Addams can be complicated, and concepts of normality clash when Wednesday gets engaged.

Her beau, Lucas Beineke, is an all-American kid with staid all-American parents.

When Wednesday invites them all to dinner, Gomez must keep her secret from his loving wife Morticia... with dire consequences.

A morality tale then, the Addams Family Musical is fun-filled Gothic romp, packed with laughs and an impressively eclectic score by Andrew Lippa. Carrie Hope Fletcher is peerless as the daughter of the family. Her rendition of Pulled, simply spine-tingling.

Unrecognisable as Uncle Fester, Les Dennis is a revelation. He links the action and boasts an strong singing voice, never more so than on the touching The Moon And Me, which he imbues with true pathos.

If Samantha Womack glides across the stage as an effortlessly cool, yet electrifyingly sensual Morticia, it’s Cameron Blakely’s endearing eccentric Gomez that puts the dynamic spark in their relationship and indeed the production.

With good support from Oliver Ormson as Lucas, and nice turns by Valda Aviks as Grandma and Grant McIntyre as Pugsley, the tale unfolds on Diego Pitarch’s traditionally gloomy set.

With busy set pieces, Lippa’s songs drive the narrative, from the stirring One Normal Night to the Tango-infused Secrets, and the darkly witty Just Around The Corner.

However, it’s the big numbers like Full Disclosure and the insanely catchy Crazier Than You that ensure this production zings along like a Beineke running from the clutch of the Addams’ pet Thing.

Click. Click.

Until Saturday