With the Chichester Festival Theatre’s dark history lesson of Fiddler on the Roof off to the east, turn your eyes westward to Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre for a diametrically opposed theatrical experience.
The Addams Family is musical theatre fluff: it’s not ground-breaking, not meaningful, not even particularly memorable, but it is a cracking – and surprisingly adult – evening out.
The ensemble vocals are bell-clear and beautiful, and the cast do blazingly well on the dancing front, too.
As Morticia, Samantha Womack maintains an amazing deadpan face throughout, belting out her numbers and tangoing for all she’s worth. Cameron Blakely partners her as husband Gomez – and what a joy he is to watch.
Managing to upstage these two is Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday. As the focus of the piece – the story’s about Wednesday falling in love with a ‘normal’, Lucas, and the effect this has on both families – Fletcher’s performance is big, controlled and mature. Her voice is syrup and sand and soars. Oliver Ormson as her love-interest also sings strongly and plays the comedy for all he’s worth.
Les Dennis is great as Fester, but the part itself is a disappointment: he’s little more than a narrator who engages, rather bizarrely, in a romantic relationship with the moon.
Until July 29.