Before we tell you about the show, we just need to say straight off, THE ADDAMS FAMILY was one incredible musical surprise for us when we saw it on its last visit to South Wales. We knew it would be good, especially with such a stellar cast and writing team. We can tell you however, it was better than good in every way.
Everyone’s favourite kooky family are coming back next month, and if you thought you’ve been living with a dysfunctional family during lockdown, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This truly spectacular musical comedy really is one for the entire family, whether you are new to the ADDAMS world, or grew up with them way back when.
It’s the same multi award-winning writing team who brought us the hit musical JERSEY BOYS, with music and lyrics by TONY AWARD nominated Andrew Lippa. As for the cast, JOANNE CLIFTON is Morticia personified and CAMERON BLAKELY is as perfect a Gomez as you’ll find anywhere.
Here’s the moment Joanne revealed that she is joining the family……
Yes, that is the same Joanne from Strictly.
After winning the World Professional Showdance Champion and the European Professional Ballroom Championship, she joined the show as a professional dancer. During her time on the show she performed in the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, was an expert presenter on the programme’s backstage show It Takes Two, won the Christmas Special with McFly’s Harry Judd, and went on to win the Glitterball Trophy as the 2016 champion with her partner Ore Oduba.
But Joanne is no stranger to live theatre, although she is the much-welcome new kid on the Addams Family Block.
Joanne was most recently seen playing the roles of “Bertha” and “Fastrada” in Pippin, at The Garden Theatre. Prior to this, she has starred as “Janet” in the No. 1 UK Tour of The Rocky Horror Show, “Alex Owens” in the No. 1 UK Tour of Flashdance, and “Dale Tremont” in Top Hat, where she received her second Offie nomination. Her first was for her acting debut as the Streetwalker in Iriving Berlin’s Face the Music.
So be in no doubt, Joanne is the real deal and will make a fantastic Morticia, we’re sure. She already has in fact, not strictly in the musical, but in Strictly Come Dancing.
CAMERON BLAKELY is really terrific as Gomez and has been in some of our most iconic shows. He was Thenardier in Les Misérables, a role he played for two years in London’s West End. He was also part of the 25th Anniversary at the O2, where he played Bamatabois.
He was a fantastic Smee in Peter Pan at the Adelphi Theatre and Fagin in Oliver! at The Watermill Theatre. He’s also appeared in many productions at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew. He also played Dennis Dupree in the UK Tour of Rock of Ages, a show we think is worthy of another revival – have a word Cameron.
Here is Cameron singing ‘Not Today’ from the show, accompanied by Andrew Hilton. It goes without saying just how good he is, but the song itself is lyrically really clever, and funny.
SCOTT PAIGE comes in as Uncle Fester. Theatre lovers might remember Scott was Mr Poppy in Nativity, which played at the Wales Millennium Centre a couple of years ago, and mighty fine he was in it too. In fact, you can look back at opening night of the show, and a little interview with Scott HERE. (It’s about halfway down the page).
Joanne will be joining the previously announced Cameron Blakely (Gomez Addams), Scott Paige (Uncle Fester), Kingsley Morton (Wednesday Addams), Grant McIntyre (Pugsley Addams), Valda Aviks (Grandma), Sean Kingsley (Mal Beineke), Kara Lane (Alice Beineke), Ahmed Hamad (Lucas Beineke), Dickon Gough and Ryan Bennett (sharing the role of Lurch), Abigail Brodie, Sophie Hutchinson, Matthew Ives and Sean Lopeman. Also new to the cast and joining the ensemble is Castell Parker.
That gets us nicely onto the show itself.
It’s had quite a life since it was tried out in Chicago in 2009. All went well and the musical opened on Broadway the following April. The original cast featured Nathan Lane (The Birdcage, The Producers and he was Timon in The Lion King) as Gomez, and Bebe Neuwirth (Frasier Crane’s ex wife Lilith in the TV show) as Morticia. The show ran for almost two years before heading out on a national tour of North America.
The Addams Family picked up more than a few awards along the way including a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Set Design – the set by the way is fantastic. It then picked up a Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award (presented to Nathan Lane). The show was also nominated for two Tony Awards, among many other nominations.
The musical then set out on its first UK tour after wowing the audiences at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.
In November 2019 they announced the show would be out on the road again in the summer of 2020, but we all know the deal with that. The tour was postponed and will actually kick off it’s run right here in South Wales.
Of course it would be wrong to presume everyone knows everything about this most functional family around. We say that because they know exactly who they are and what they like. Ok, it may be weird experiments, strange creatures and the most unusual butler imaginable, but cut through all that and it’s a story about family, love and togetherness.
Rather than tell you about the ADDAMS world, MGM have kindly made a few episodes of the original black and white series available, this is one of our favourites. Get THING to bring you a cuppa, turn off the lights, sit back and enjoy – after you’ve read about the rest of the musical that is.
In a weird sort of way, The Addams Family is based on real characters, okay, maybe we’re pushing the truth here.
It was created by American cartoonist Charles Addams way back in 1938. And not much has change with the characters. The Addams Family have always included Gomez and Morticia Addams, their children Wednesday and Pugsley, close family members Uncle Fester and Grandmama, their butler Lurch, and Pugsley’s pet octopus Aristotle. The dimly seen Thing (later a disembodied hand) was introduced in 1954, and Gomez’s Cousin Itt and Morticia’s pet lion Kitty Kat popped up in 1964.
Even though we think they really do live forever, The Addams Family have had a few reincarnations. From the original hand drawn cartoon, through to the incredibly successful TV show. Four movies – the final last year was a very funny animation. Countless Halloween costumes worn by families everywhere, and now, the live show.
Which brings us onto the plot of THE ADDAMS FAMILY musical.
Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, is all grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows. She’s fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family. With his cherished Morticia in the dark will Gomez manage to keep his daughter’s secret until the two families meet for a fateful dinner with hilarious consequences?
They are all there, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley and more for a heart-warming story of love, family and friendship – with a twist!
The show features a live orchestra and one of the catchiest original scores you’ll ever hear. We know this will entertain everyone whether you are 12 or 312!
THE ADDAMS FAMILY gets to the New Theatre in Cardiff from this evening, Tuesday 16th to Saturday 20th November, shows are at 7:30pm with matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2:30pm. Tickets range from £31 to £51 with a box for 6 between £141 to £185. There’s also a variety of concessions with £20 tickets for over 60s at the Thursday Matinee. For more details, go here ADDAMS
And if you have a bit of time on your hands, here’s a few more episodes of the original TV show from MGM.