On Tuesday evening I had the enjoyment of accompanying my son (age 11) and his friend to watch The Addams Family – The Musical Comedy at the Liverpool Empire. It was a slightly risky strategy as although he loves music he isn’t a huge fan of musicals (he gets that from his father, as I love them!) but I thought as he does love The Addams Family and this was a comedy that he might enjoy it.
Joanne Clifton (probably most well-known for Strictly Come Dancing) plays Morticia and being interviewed about the show says “It’s a feel-good, fun, laugh-out loud family show. Audiences know the characters, they know the world of The Addams Family from the TV show and films but there are some surprises in store. And it’s really, really funny.”
She’s not wrong; so I’ll start with the story … which begins in the familiar Addams Family mansion. The daughter Wednesday has grown up and has a secret – she has fallen in love and wants to marry a sweet young man called Lurch from a respectable, normal family. She tells Gormez (her dad) that they are to marry but he must keep it secret from mum (Morticia). They have invited him round with his parents for dinner and so ensues an evening like no other!
Pugsley (Wednesday’s brother) is upset as if she leaves with Lurch there will be no one to torture him, Morticia can tell that Gormez is keeping a secret and is furious, Uncle Fester is his usual amusing self, interacting with all the other ancestors (who have been released from their graves to help true love find its path) and Grandma, is just Grandma really!
Typically none of it goes according to Wednesday’s plan of having ‘One normal night’ and the first act culminates in a hilarious game of ‘Full Disclosure’ set to, what I thought after recently watching Chicago, a familiar song. The evening goes from bad to worse and to keep things going the ancestors cerate a storm meaning Lurch and his parents need to stay the night – who would want to do that at the Addams Family home!
The story was interesting with, as my 11 year old phrased it, mild sexual references! The songs were great with some amazingly unexpected voices coming out … Kingsley Morton (who plays Wednesday) I’m referring to you – wow! Joanne Clifton as Morticia and was superb – the voice, the gliding around the stage … and don’t worry (as I was) you do get a BIG dance scene towards the end of the second act, trust me it’s worth waiting for!
From clever set switches (rather than changes) the stage moves you round the mansion and into central park, the costumes are almost as you’d expect with a few surprises thrown in! The orchestra was brilliant – what a joy to listen to a live orchestra again!
I asked my companions what they thought of it, as I wasn’t sure whether the show is aimed at adults, children or both! They both enjoyed it, Lily loved the songs and also thought Wednesday’s voice was amazing! Freddie couldn’t name his favourite song but Uncle Fester was absolutely his favourite character. They both felt it was suitable for their age and above, and thought younger children probably wouldn’t understand the ‘mild sexual references’ so would probably by OK – but as a parent I’ll leave you to make that call! A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all! It definitely gives you the feel good factor that we’ve all been missing for the last two years!
For more information about the national tour: https://www.theaddamsfamily.co.uk/