"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Amateur Operatic Society
strip, black and white tv show, a popular, if not critical, success
on Broadway, and the West End planned for next year.
wonderfully weird family is busy in Essex just now, with WAOS this
week, and LODS [at the Palace Westcliff] next.
Witham show looks great, with projected backdrops and some stunning
stage pictures. The living dead, the assorted ancestral Addamses from
history, are pallid and wraith-like, with creative
in shades of beige and grey.
them, the harsher black and white of the present-day
family, and the tasteful leisure-wear of their inlaws-to-be, the
Beinekes from Ohio.
excellent performances in both camps. Corrina Wilson is priceless as
Mrs Beineke: whining voice, powerful soprano and a spectacular
“Waiting” after her chalice has been spiked. Stewart
Adkins, as Gomez Addams, bears the brunt of the show, ably
the comedy coming and delivering some brilliant numbers; Constance
Lawton his classy Morticia.
The rest of the clan have varying success with the very special style
this show demands – Edward Groombridge gives a splendid Grandma,
and Fraser McLaughlan shows presence and polish
as Pugsley. Trevor Marks has his moments as the moonstruck Fester,
though the role demands a little more, perhaps.
star-crossed lovers are engagingly portrayed by Ashton Reed and Ed
Mundell-Poole's energetic production is imaginatively staged – the
supper-table “Full Disclosure”, jazz hands and enthusiasm from
the ensemble, “Death Is Just Around The Corner”, the trees in
Central Park, the “Secrets” dance routine, the chorus in “One
in the worst possible taste. The lyrics frequently sound feeble, the
book is patchy, though there are some winning lines: “... makes
Mary Poppins sound like Medea./I'm not getting your references./ Well
quit the texting and pick up a book for once!”.
music, though rarely memorable, is serviceable in many genres, and is
well served by the company under Musical Director Geoff Osborne.
good to see a new musical, even if the characters are familiar. And
Witham certainly pull out all the stops to sell the show. But I'm not
sure I shall be queuing outside the St James's next year …