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 in November, 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.
This is the original trailer for the show so the cast will be a little different. The good news is, Morticia and Gomez are definitely the same stars.
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, Samantha Womack is Morticia personified and Cameron Blakely is as perfect a Gomez as you’ll find anywhere.
Samantha is of course well known as Ronnie Mitchell in Eastenders, but she has had such a life on TV and stage long before that. For those of us who remember the FHM and Maxim days, she was Mandy in the classic 90s comedy Game On. She’s also starred in the BBC One drama Pie in the Sky and the sitcom Babes in the Wood.
Samantha has some pretty impressive stage credits to her name too. She was in the West End production of Guys & Dolls opposite Patrick Swayze and Peter Hall’s production of Pinter’s Betrayal (Theatre Royal Bath). More recently, she starred in The Girl on the Train, which came to the New Theatre a while back. If ever she inhabits that role again, you must see her in it.
But we actually remember the days when she was also a fully-fledged pop star back at the start of the 90s. Samantha was our entry in the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest. “A Message to Your Heart” made it into the Top 30 in the Singles Chart, but sadly didn’t win the competition. She certainly faired better than our recent entry.
The video quality isn’t great , but it’s nice to see her perform (she was Samantha Janus back then), and get to hear the great Terry Wogan once again.
Cameron Blakely is terrific as Gomez and he and Samantha have it all on stage together. Cameron 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.
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. Samantha has been Morticia since the start, and we really couldn’t imagine anyone else playing her now.
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 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.