THE ADDAMS FAMILY
The Willow Tree Theatre Company
6th December, 2014
Director: Jo Wilson-Hunt
M.D: Ian Crew
Choreography: Debbie Sherman
All of a 'certain age'
will remember the intro to this quirky, kooky show. The clicks will
certainly be remembered at this beautifully staged production, which
opened with several pairs of hands on view all clicking in time to
the iconic tune.
Familiarity is oh so important when staging a musical based on what
was primarily a cartoon; followed by a televised adaptation in the
60's and films in the 90's.
Accurate character representation can make or break; in this show it
was remarkable! Immaculately dressed with extraordinary make-up,
there was no mistaking who was who. Traits relevant to each
character were maintained with creditable consistency, the
reincarnation of all family members being just as remembered.
Music from the show consists of a varied genre with tastes of Latin,
swing and jazz, all played by the eight piece band with energy and
accuracy, resulting in a lovely balanced sound. Cast sang with
confidence, their crisp, unified tone a joy to hear. Soloists
performed every word sang, ensuring a seamless transition between
voice and lines.
Choreography from a predominantly dance based company has to be spot
on and it was! Modern, edgy and being entirely applicable to the
story with performance stylish and skilful. Gomez and Morticia's
tango was a pure pleasure to watch, certainly worth more than a
Strictly Len's "Seven".
To quote the director, the set was inspired by Gothic art at the V
and A museum. I can only imagine the joy at the resulting
interpreted vision of her inspiration, masterly painted with a huge
amount of attention to detail accentuated by lovely lighting touches
that also picked out every action and face.
This society appears to be inundated with talented members, cast
could not be faulted; diction was clear with the story easily
understood. After the 'silliness'
and pace of act one, touching moments within the various
relationships rightly slowed the pace and stirred the emotions in
act two. This was particularly obvious between Wednesday, Gomez and
Morticia who showed wonderful chemistry as did Mal and Alice Beineke.
The latter giving a hilarious performance after mistakenly drinking
Pugsley's potion. All principals gave
stand-out character portrayals, without exception, but a special
mention must be made of Uncle Fester, his physicality and facial
expression were sublime. The picture of him in striped long johns,
playing a ukulele, singing to the moon will stay with me for a long
time, one of my favourite scenes!
Without doubt, this show rates as one of my top five seen in amateur
theatre, full credit to all involved in bringing this magic to the