Review: The Addams Family
by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice
Directors: Chris Burton, Kirsten Clark, Alex Hughes
Review Date: 14/03/2019
The PNBHS/PNGHS production is always a popular show, with many proud parents, grandparents and friends pouring in to the Speirs Centre to see the results of their children’s labours over a long period of time. For some, it becomes a tradition and they keep going back year after year long after their children have left school and moved on. This year’s show looks to be a crowd-pleaser since most parents will remember The Addams Family—with their peculiar dark ways— from when they were kids. Younger generations may remember the movie, or at least be lured by the mixture of gothic themes and comedy in this out-of-the ordinary musical.
The main roles I expected to see were all accounted for—Morticia with her sharp, passionate, and witchy ways, Gomez, Wednesday, Pugsly, Uncle Fester and Lurch. Even Thing made a brief appearance. Callum Pritchard’s role as Uncle Fester was a standout crowd favourite. Charisma and warmth glowed all around him or was that just the light glaring back from his bald head? His role was impeccably delivered, he had the audience happily eating out of his hand. A photo op following the show could be a good call for this year’s production, I for one would have stayed to give Uncle Fester a hug.
Lily Bourne pulled off an excellent Morticia and was elegant and poised in her role, I would not want to cross her. Oliver Inman’s Gomez Addams was charismatic, quick-witted and his devotion to the Spanish accent required was impressive. I had to keep reminding myself that Emily MacKay was a high school student and not actually the middle-aged mother Alice Bieneke which she played with exceptional talent. House servant and zombie Lurch was well-played by Jude Wightman. Though his role required mostly grunts instead of dialogue his stage presence more than made up for it. Rachel Hodgson’s arts of imitation were scarily accurate as Grandma Addams, similar to Emily Mackay’s role I had to keep reminding myself that she wasn’t in fact an old woman but rather a very talented young girl. Annabel Orwin showed her strength on stage again this year including her strong vocal skills, as did Grayson Lodge as Pugsly. Overall the talent was exceptional and a testament to the work that has been put in by everyone to produce a well-polished show with some enjoyable singing and dancing numbers performed by the cast.
The set worked well with a high-class gothic look opted for instead of the expected dust and cobwebs aesthetic. Stage changes were managed quickly and efficiently, a big job considering how many scenes there were in the show.
Technically this show ran well, a more practised eye than mine may have been able to pick out something but from this laypersons perspective everything ran smoothly.
The hard work put in to produce this show was evident as the cast and crew worked together confidently delivering this goth-themed, comedic musical. Comedic delivery of this dialogue-driven show was outstanding. Costuming, make-up and hair was excellent and consistent with the clean, dark lines of the Addams Family wardrobe.
This stage-adaptation of The Addams Family focuses on family values and the ‘normal’ and ‘not-so-normal’ ways of dealing with them. With its origins in USA it’s a formula that we are familiar with—some laughs, some drama, some good old family morals, and will it be a happy or an unhappy ending? I’ll leave the tension there. Spooky…
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