For many The Addams Family will conjure memories of either the 1960s television series or the hit movies from the 70s and early 90s. In fact this family of misfits dates back more than 80 years to a series of satirical cartoons published in the New Yorker.
Manor Musical Theatre Company keeps Charles Addam’s iconic creation alive in this enjoyable production of the decade-old musical version
The family’s macabre world is turned upside down when their devilish daughter Wednesday falls for Lucas Beineke a sweet boy from a normal family. And when the Beinekes are invited over for dinner all hell breaks loose.
Few shows have a power couple that rivals Gomez and Morticia and Mark Skett and Beth Hooper do a sterling job as the family's figureheads. Gomez in particular is rarely off the stage in this show and Skett doesn’t put a foot wrong as the suave Spaniard.
Elsewhere Tom Lafferty shines as a wonderfully gawky Lucas and Karrise Willetts is delightfully dark as his menacing pursuer Wednesday.
Jack Dolaghan impresses as Wednesday’s annoying and destructive younger brother Pugsley and James Dolaghan harnesses the power of the grunt to great comedic effect throughout.
Megan Daniels makes for a terrific Alice Beineke, her rendition of Waiting is a highlight. And Richard Parry is strong throughout as rock god turned bore Mel, her husband and Lucas's father.
Fester is one of this strange family’s more familiar faces and Andy Hooper does a good job of capturing the character’s overwhelming weirdness. And speaking of weird, Kate Dyer does a cracking job as the eccentric Grandma.
There are some great numbers in this show and with an array of excellent costumes, especially some of those donned by the ancestors, there are times where the company looks fantastic on-stage. At others it feels like proceedings could do with an injection of pace, but in truth this isn’t the most dynamic of shows for chorus members with the focus instead on members of the respective families.
That said the chorus does it give it their all and among them Matt Cotter and Katrina Cadman stand out for their characterisation and consistency.
Tim Harding's band belts out the score with real gusto and there were times where it was a little difficult for those of us nearer the front to catch some of the lyrics and dialogue - more to do with the acoustics in this delightful old venue than anything.
Congratulations to directors Pam and James Garrington, musical director Tim Harding and choreographer Maggie Moriarty on this entertaining production.
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