Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Scott Paige. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Scott Paige. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday 7 September 2018

Five Reasons to see Eugenius



I've been lucky enough to see Eugenius throughout it's journey, from it's first public concert at the London Palladium, to its first stay at The Other Palace and now at its triumphant return. It's wonderful to see such a fun British show become an audience favourite and a cult classic. At risk of full on repeating myself, instead of reviewing the show again, I bring you a list of reasons why should see it...

It's the Definition of Catchy- If you're a fan of upbeat, 80s inspired music and heartfelt ballads then this show is for you. If you don't find yourself humming "go Eugenius" or "Don't shoot for the stars, shoot higher" basically all the time after seeing the show, then you are very good at escaping musical earworms! (It's in my head even just from writing those words)

The Cast are Superstars- The talent on the stage of The Other Palace is unreal. Rob Houchen perfectly embodies the geeky Eugene who loves comics more than life and dreams of a brighter future where he will "inherit the earth". Laura Baldwin's voice is complete perfection as she balances angst, humour and joy with ease. Dan Buckley is the ultimate musical theatre comedian and Scott Paige brings the ideal level of sass to The Other Palace. Basically, this cast are astronomical and deserve to be seen.




It Allows us all to be G.E.E.K Geeks- However hardcore we try and be, deep down (or not deep down in my case) we're all geeks. This show allows us to embody this whilst living our best 80s lives. The message of the show is all about acceptance and inspiring us to strive for more, which is pretty great indeed.

The Whole Show is Pure Fun- Eugenius is one of the most self-aware shows I've ever seen. There are so many parts that are ridiculous and super cheesy and it does have it's faults but it knows that and doesn't try to be anything more than it is, which is a pure fun-fest. For a light-hearted, truly joyous night, get yourself along to Eugenius.




The Fans Are the Best- It's my belief that the fans can make or break a show. Regardless of what critics/reviewers say, a shows fanbase can spread the love and word quicker than wildfire. Sitting in row G I had a wonderful view of the fantastic fans who took up much of the first two rows and who were giving as much to the cast as the cast were giving to the audiences. Their beaming smiles, instant applause, knowledge of every word and action in the show and love on social media is heartwarming to watch. Go see Eugenius purely to see what the fans are raving about!

Eugenius runs at The Other Palace until October 21st 2018 

Post by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Scott Rylander

Thursday 21 September 2017

The Addams Family (UK Tour), Bristol Hippodrome | Review


Bristol Hippodrome
Reviewed on Tuesday 19th September 2017 by Isobelle Desbrow

Full disclosure this show is a must see for all, with a mixture of pure wit, funny lines and the occasional sexual innuendo underpinned by a fabulous musical score, everything hit the right notes, especially the actors.

The scene changes were smooth, and visually or musically pleasing, never a dull moment. The acting was exquisite, Cameron Blakely as Gomez was the perfect mix of enthusiasm and misguided sentimentality. Morticia played by the stunning Samantha Womack was perfectly caste, an incredible voice matched with brilliant characterisation. Carrie Hope Fletcher played a very powerful Wednesday Addams, with pitch perfect harmonies, she was a thrill to watch. The relationship she portrayed with Lukas Beineke played by Oliver Ormson was magical. ‘Crazier than You’ was spectacular with perfect vocals and staging. 

Without giving away too much Lurch certainly didn’t leave much to imagination with well timed movements and grunts, Dickon Gough is definitely a wonderful addition to the cast, especially towards the end!

A special mention must go to Scott Paige who stepped into rather large shoes to play Uncle Fester as Les Dennis was out for the evening. Scott was one of my highlights for the evening as he had wonderful vocals and characterisation, he brought so much to the character and I would love to see him one day stepping out into more of a leading role.

The music was well played and perfectly underpinned the drama of the  musical. The costumes perfectly brought to life the outrageous, kooky Addams family world, especially with the exceptionally detailed ancestors. Each of whom were played fantastically by the ensemble and it was clear how much character development had been done in the rehearsal room. They also added a whole other dimension to full cast pieces such as ‘When You’re an Addams’ and ‘Full Disclosure’.

Overall this show is witty, modern and leaves nothing to the imagination. With updated jokes, amazing vocals and spooktacular acting it is a must see for all! 

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Seussical, Southwark Playhouse | Review


Seussical
Southwark Playhouse
Reviewed on Tuesday 27th November 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Seussical is a colourful whirlwind of a musical which takes the works of  Dr. Suess and winds them into a magical, heartfelt story of acceptance and love. We follow JoJo, a Who with a larger than life imagination who, along with the rest of the Whos, live on a tiny speck of dust which is found by Horton the elephant. Horton vows to protest this speck with all his might which leads to a story of ups and downs and a whole host of characters.

Aesthetically this is a beautiful production. The pops of colour both in the set (Justin Williams and Jonny Rust) and the costumes (Rachel Cartlidge) really emphasise the story book feel and bring this wacky world to life in an over the top but never tacky, way. The costumes cleverly differentiate the characters without becoming cliched or predictable.

Marc Pickering leads the cast sublimely as the Cat in the Hat. Absolutely commanding every inch of the stage he touches and demanding the audiences attention with every brow raise and smirk; he is utterly hysterical and clearly born to be seen. Amy Perry is sincere and relatable as Gertrude, Anna Barnes is suitably energetic as JoJo and Adam Dawson and Daisy Steere are outstanding as Mr and Mrs Mayor and they totter around the stage with humourous aplomb. 


Scott Paige is endearing and vocally faultless as the lovable Horton and it's great to see him helming a show after standing out in Eugenius and The Addams Family. Paige brings a heart and warmth to this story that makes it the perfect show for a cold winter evening. The entire cast are enthusiastic and full of life from the get go; with tasteful audience interaction, energetic, sharp and fitting choreography (Chris Whittaker) and a boatload of originality, they make the production sleek and engaging.

Captivating and innovative, Seussical is a musical for all the family that is sure to delight and enthral from start to finish. Presenting an over the top look at some crucial and relevant social issues, it's a show for everyone, that is extremely well thought out and will leave you feeling warm inside, with a smile so wide.

Seussical runs at the Southwark Playhouse until 29th December 2018

photo credit: Adam Trigg

Tuesday 19 March 2024

I Should Be So Lucky on tour at the New Victoria Theatre REVIEW: A Misguided Melange of 80s Madness


I Should Be So Lucky (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre

In the sun-drenched world of I Should Be So Lucky: The Musical, there's a flicker of potential, but sadly, it fades quicker than the sparkle of a disco ball. The show, buoyed by a strong cast and glitzy staging, is fun but struggles to hit the high notes it aims for.

Let's start with the positives: the cast. They're the shining stars of this production, injecting life and energy into every scene. With their talent and charisma, they manage to elevate even the most lacklustre moments. Each member deserves applause for their efforts in salvaging what they can from the material. To name a few, Scott Paige brings hilarity to every moment of his stage time, Kayla Carter as Bonnie provides some wonderful vocals and her blossoming relationship with Ash played by Giovanni Spanò is one of the highlights of the show. Giovanni is laugh out loud funny and get to briefly show off his killer vocals. It's a bit of theme in the show that the amazing vocal talents of the cast don't get to really be shown off, due to the hundred other things that are happening throughout. This is definitely the case with Melissa Jacques as Shelley who is wonderful, but having seen her in Everybody's Talking About Jamie, I would've loved some more chances for her to sing and soar.

As I mentioned, there's a LOT going on. There are a heap of side plots and vague character references and development which never have enough time to really mean anything. It sort of feels like every idea made it into the show and there was no development or streamlining to make it work. Another issue is that the show borders between being super sincere and not taking itself too seriously, so at times you're unsure whether you're laughing with or at the show. There's certainly potential, but in it's current form, it feels like a strange fever dream.

Now, onto the staging. It's undeniably flashy, dripping with sequins and neon lights reminiscent of a Kylie concert. The set (Tom Rogers) is really good, and there's a certain thrill in watching the glitzy spectacle unfold. However, as the show progresses, the excitement begins to wane, revealing a repetitive pattern that feels more like a recycling of ideas than a deliberate artistic choice. The 80s music video vibes are real, but there's only so many times you can get joy from the heart shaped bed rolling onto the stage. 

Despite these glimmers of promise, I Should Be So Lucky: The Musical ultimately falls flat. While it may provide a momentary escape into a world of pop music and glamour, it lacks the substance needed to sustain interest beyond the surface. Thankfully the cast do wonder with what they're given, but even the most talented performers can't fully save this misguided show. Much like an 80s tune, it's enjoyable in the moment but quickly fades from memory.

★★
Reviewed on Monday 18th march 2024 by Olivia
Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

I Should Be So Lucky plays at the New Victoria Theatre until 23rd March and then continues its tour

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

Thursday 10 November 2016

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a heartwarming, beautiful and triumphant tour full of joy.



Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 9th
 November 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is one of those musicals you feel like you've always known about. You could ask anyone and they'll be able to rattle off the title song without a moments thought. There's just something magical about it that can transport to back to your childhood in a moment. James Brining's production adapted for the stage by Jeremy Sams is delightful, enjoyable and exciting to watch. Based on the film of the same name Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tells the story of the struggling inventor Caractacus Potts who is carried away on a magical adventure with his children Jemima and Jeremy.

The production is a very beautiful one indeed, with very clever use of video designed by Simon Wainwright which alongside Simon Higlett's well constructed set design creates a melancholy sort of atmosphere whilst easily transition from scene to scene.
Jason Manford is charming and sweet as Caractacus Potts, bringing his own twist to Dick Van Dyke's iconic character. His voice shines throughout, especially in his heartfelt performance of 'Hushabye Mountain'. Charlotte Wakefield works alongside Mansfield as the beautiful Truly Scrumptious. Their chemistry is extremely natural and Charlotte's performance is sincere and heartfelt all the way through.



Jos Vantyler's childcatcher is suitably chilling, adding moments of darkness to the otherwise upbeat musical. Boris and Goran played by Sam Harrison and Scott Paige are absolutely fabulous, adding humour and lots of fun throughout- especially through their rendition of 'Act English'. They really hold the show together, interjecting with just the right amount of exaggeration and innuendo for the duration of the show.



This is a charming production which evokes childhood memories and joy whilst having you tapping your feet and singing the songs all the way home. It's Truly Scrumptious indeed and a must see for a sugary sweet night out!




Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is on at the New Victoria Theatre until November 19th, after which it will continue on its tour round the county. To book tickets visit ATG tickets.

Photographs by Alastair Muir

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Joanne Clifton to play Morticia in The Addams Family UK & Ireland Tour



Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics are delighted to announce that Joanne Clifton will play the role of Morticia Addams in the UK and Ireland tour of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A Musical Comedy. The tour will open at Theatre Royal, Nottingham on 5 November 2021.

 

Joanne will be joining the previously announced, Cameron Blakely (Gomez Addams), Scott Paige (Uncle Fester), Kingsley Morton (Wednesday Addams), Grant McIntyre (Pugsley Addams), Valda Aviks (Grandma), Sean Kingsley (Mal Beineke), Kara Lane (Alice Beineke), Ahmed Hamad (Lucas Beineke), Dickon Gough and Ryan Bennett (sharing the role of Lurch), Abigail Brodie, Sophie Hutchinson, Matthew Ives and Sean Lopeman. Also new to the cast and joining the ensemble is Castell Parker. Further casting to be announced.

 

Joanne Clifton has starred as Janet in the UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Alex Owens in the UK tour of Flashdance, and Dale Tremont in Top Hat, where she received her second Offie nomination. Her first was for her acting debut as the Streetwalker in Irving Berlin’s Face the Music. Joanne is perhaps best known for her time on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. After winning the World Professional Showdance Championship and the European Professional Ballroom Championship, she joined the show as a professional dancer. During her time on the show, she performed in the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, was an expert presenter on the programme’s backstage show, It Takes Two, won the Christmas Special with McFly’s Harry Judd, and went on to win the glitterball trophy as the 2016 champion with her partner Ore Oduba. 

 

Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows; she’s fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family! Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia.  Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.  All the usual clan are present - Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley et al.

 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A Musical Comedy, will be directed by Matthew White, with choreography by Alistair David, production design by Diego Pitarch, orchestrations by Richard Beadle, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Richard Brooker and casting by Jane Deitch. Book is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the characters created by Charles Addams.

 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2021 UK Tour is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics Limited, and is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

 

For further information, please visit www.theaddamsfamily.co.uk

Thursday 1 February 2018

Eugenius, The Other Palace | Review


Eugenius
The Other Palace
Reviewed on Tuesday 30th January 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

I saw and loved Eugenius back in 2016 at it's premiere concert at the London Palladium, so I was very excited when I read it was returning to The Other Palace. I'm pleased to say I stand by my initial review- I absolutely adored this, unique, hilarious, feel-good show. 

Eugenius tells the story of Eugene, a G-E-E-K who has written a comic book and gets thrown into a crazy Hollywood, space story. Alongside we have Janey who is head over heels in love with him and does everything she can to impress him but has been placed firmly into the friend zone. 

With music and lyrics and a book by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins, Eugenius is a full on cheese fest of all things brilliant about the 80s. I'm 21 so wasn't alive then but it's so iconic that I couldn't help but feel nostalgic in a weird way. The music is catchy, the dialogue is laugh a minute and the whole show is just a big, joyous delight.


The cast are absolutely outstanding. As Eugene we have West End newbie Liam Forde, who is geeky and charming with a beautiful voice. His chemistry with everyone is great but especially with the delightful love interest Laura Baldwin as Janey. Laura's voice is something else, 'The Future is Bright' is definitely a stand out moment. Equally witty and loving, Laura is perfectly cast in the role.

As the best friend, Dan Buckley is hilarious as Feris. Despite being a comic role, Daniel's vocals shine and he is wonderful throughout. Equally comic is Scott Paige as Theo who is sassy and vocally outstanding. As the mean man, Cameron Blakely is perfectly despicable as Lex. His demeanour and crude actions make you pray for his demise. Ian Hughes is striking as the other, spacey villain, Evil Lord Hector.

This show creates an infectious atmosphere and has everyone bouncing and humming the songs as they leave the theatre. In my initial review I said that "this musical is bound to become a cult classic and pave the way for a whole wave of new musicals" and I think that still sums up my feelings. Eugenius is a unique, humourous celebration of being yourself and embracing your inner geek. With catchy music and a stellar cast, there's not a reason you shouldn't see this show!

Eugenius runs at The Other Palace until 3rd March

photo credit: Pamela Raith

Wednesday 27 September 2017

The Addams Family (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 26th September 2017 by Valerie Field

The spooky, kooky classic, The Addams Family has made its way to the New Victoria theatre, Woking in its spectacular UK tour.

The Addams Family first become known to the public in the 1960’s as a TV show, they then made their way to the big screen in 1991 and on finally to Broadway in 2010. This production is the first ever professional one in the UK and has received brilliant reviews since it opened.

The story is about the very weird and spooky family whose daughter, Wednesday falls in love with a ‘normal’ boy. This causes many problems and some hilarious situations and she tries to tell her overprotective family and discovers that no one is really as normal as they seem. 

The energy was up right from the get go of the show. During the iconic opening theme tune music, the entire audience joined in with the signature clicks which was very funny and set the night off on a fantastic foot.

Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday Addams and Cameron Blakely as Gomez were the stand out performances for me, with fantastic acting and singing from both. Cameron was suitably wacky and humourous whilst Carrie was suitably moody and full of love.

Samantha Womack looked great, but I felt that she didn't have the presence you would have expected from her character of Morticia. Whilst she looks the role and embodies the character well, she was a little underwhelming at times and could have played the character up a little more.

Les Dennis was unable to perform as Fester but his understudy, Scott Paige did very well as the man who’s in love with the moon. Dickon Gough' was the biggest surprise as Lurch. When he burst into song at the end, the whole audience were shocked at his fantastic voice.


All the scenery, stage sets and special effects were brilliant and all in all it was a very entertaining and enjoyable show. I would have liked it to be a little more spooky but its definitely worth a visit before the tour ends.

The Addams Family is at the New Victoria Theatre until September 30th before continuing its tour.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

The Great British Bake Off Musical, Noel Coward Theatre | Review



The Great British Bake Off Musical
Noel Coward Theatre
★★★★

A British institution, Bake Off may not seem like the most likely source for a musical but thankfully, it's musical adaptation works incredibly well and is an easily digestible, heart-warming show and a love letter to the series so many love.

Surprisingly sincere, the musical with book and lyrics by Jake Brunger and music and lyrics by Pippa Cleary is legitimately earnest in its portrayal of the characters and their stories but also includes excellent humour and always manages to stay on the right side of being a parody or caricature of itself. Moments that could be overplayed are often reigned in and you're always laughing with the show rather than at it. That's not to say there aren't some cringe moments and the odd line that doesn't quite hit correctly but none of them take away from the pure joy and sweetness of this musical and it really is a delight of a show.

Pacing wise, it's pretty perfect. It never feels like it drags and really you could do with a second helping of the brilliance on stage because it's just so lovely. It's quite surprisingly just how well everything works. From colour coded bowl choreography (Georgina Lamb) to the incredibly effective set by Alice Power there's not much to fault. Of course you could nitpick, but for the sheer sentimentality and wholesomeness, this musical is a showstopper.

The cast are incredibly strong and there's so much connection between them that shines on stage. As the presenters Zoe Birkett (Kim) and Scott Paige (Jim) are wondrously witty and have excellent chemistry, as if they've been genuine presenters for years. Taking on the job of the judges, Haydn Gwynne and John Owen-Jones are dynamic and somehow retain their individuality whilst bringing the iconic double act to life (in the show Prue Leith becomes Pam Lee and Phil Hollywood becomes Phil Hollinghurst). All of the contestants have stand out moments and are so solid in their portrayals. Charlotte Wakefield especially has some touching scenes and provides some of the top vocals of the show. Grace Mouat's character is also incredibly engaging and is a great contrast to the rest of the bakers. Michael Cahill, Claire Moore, Damian Humbley, Aharon Rayner, Jay Saighal, Aanya Shah and Cat Sandison all bring such humanity to their roles and are so wonderful to watch.

Every aspect of Bake Off makes the cut to the musical, from the challenges to the general structure and joke format. Like the tv show, there are innuendos galore and more baking puns than you could fit in the oven, but above that, it really encapsulates the warmth and community feeling that The Great British Bake Off provides. The contestants each get a bit of development and there's even a romance and some social commentary; all elements feel well thought out and it's really just a well structured, well oiled (greased?) musical. You couldn't really ask for a more genuinely touching show. It truly has all the ingredients to be a hit and is so worth seeing!

Reviewed on Friday 3rd March 2023 by Olivia Mitchell
photo credit: Manuel Harlan

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}


Thursday 5 November 2020

Hiba Elchikhe Brings Together West End Performers For A New Musical Theatre Series


In collaboration with Nimax and The Theatre Café, West End performer Hiba Elchikhe is thrilled to announce a brand-new musical theatre based web series: Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight.


Bringing a little bit of glitter to the grey, this three-episode series hopes to not only entertain, but shine a light on the performers who are keeping the West End alive, even during lockdown.


Hiba, who is currently starring in the West End hit Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and who has created the series says “In a time of such uncertainty I am so excited to be able to bring together a spectacular group of freelance artists, that are representative of the UK.”  


Featuring a line up of stellar creatives, each episode shines a “spotlight” on something different: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Musical Theatre and Christmas. The first episode is set to premiere on November 18th, with the next two going live on November 25th and December 9th. Each episode will feature a different line-up of star performers, running at approximately 45 minutes and including a mixture of songs. Performers include: Danny Becker (Prince of Egypt, Aladdin), Courtney Bowman (Six, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Danielle Steers (Six, Bat Out of Hell), Hiba Elchikhe (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Brooklyn), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Les Misérables, Heathers), Sejal Keshwala (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Tim Mahendran (& Juliet, Spring Awakening), Grace Mouat (& Juliet, Six), Trevor Dion Nicholas (Hamilton, Aladdin), Liam Tamne (Prince of Egypt) and Noah Thomas (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie).


As well as Maisey Bawden, Paul Bradshaw, Rhiane Drummond, James Gillan, Shanay Holmes, Rob Houchen, Melissa Jacques, Emma Kingston, Carl Man, Frances McCann, Scott Paige, Sharun PhullAmy Trigg and Andrew Patrick Walker, with more to be announced.


Tickets are available from: https://www.thetheatrecafe.co.uk/2020/11/news-out-of-the-darkness-into-the-spotlight/


#IntoTheSpotlightConcert


Thursday 5 October 2017

The Addams Family (UK Tour), Grand Opera House | Review


The Addams Family (UK Tour)
The Grand Opera House, Belfast
Reviewed on Tuesday October 3rd by Damien Murray

This Irish and UK premiere tour production of the musical comedy, The Addams Family was an entertaining and fast-paced production of Andrew Lippa’s funny musical about a less than conventional family and its ancestors.

Right from the off, it was obvious that this was not going to be ‘One Normal Night’, as – during the overture – a finger-clicking hand appeared through the letter box; the hand of an unknown person (in this case, probably a ‘stage hand’!!).

Mainly played out on the superbly old and run-down eerie mansion befitting to such a weird and spooky family, the functional set designs, with moveable staircases and great use of the two side balconies, helped greatly with the good pace of this production.

Despite the family’s appearance, values and lifestyle, this atmospheric piece is not so much scary as it is a funny musical with great one-liners that, thankfully, are never just throw away lines for the experienced cast.

We were then introduced to a mixed bag of weird ancestors who looked almost normal when compared to the central family of the piece.


They made up a well-used ensemble, which, despite its relative lack of numbers, produced some excellent harmonies during choral pieces (e.g. 'One Normal Night' and 'Move Toward The Darkness') and provided solid support throughout in vocals, dance, movement, visuals and as a distraction during scene changes.

While the Act 1 finale, 'Full Disclosure' (Part 2) was a great production number, the orchestra and cast rose to the challenge here with the varied and difficult score, which - apart from the variety of tempo changes from one song to the next - had to cope with a degree of musical fragmentation caused by lots of start/stops throughout many songs and challenging underscoring.

While the great musicality of the tango rhythms made numbers like 'Trapped', 'Secrets' and 'Not Today' stand out here, it was the orchestra’s sheer accuracy of performance and the visual impact of the dancers in the production number, 'Tango De Amour', that combined to make this an irresistible musical highlight.

'Pulled' was another highlight because of Wednesday’s strong vocal performance, while the flamenco flavoured music of 'Let’s Live Before We Die' impressed and 'But Love' provided a little vaudeville-style distraction between scenes.

There were some soft ballads in the varied score, including the gentle, 'The Moon And Me', while 'Move Toward The Darkness' was unusual in that it is rare that a ballad is used as a finale number, but it did allow for some great choral work.It was good to see the reprise of the up-tempo, 'When You’re An Addams', being used to send all home happy after the ballad finale.

Choreography was a strong element in this production and the concepts were well-executed right from the opening production number, 'When You’re An Addams', when we knew that there was going to be no problems with dance, as this song’s varied choreography included lots of arm movements and samples of line dancing, the bunny hop and the twist. The moon ballet was well-staged ('The Moon And Me'), while it was a nice touch to use a ‘young’ Wednesday to highlight the emotions of the song during Happy Sad.


The nightmarish family in this macabre musical was effortlessly brought to life by the talented principals, including Cameron Blakely as the Latino-looking and hen-pecked husband, Gomez, who supplied some touching moments in the song, 'Happy Sad', yet also managed to deliver the song’s humorous lines on cue, while always maintaining the right comic timing to get the laughs when needed. 

Samantha Womack as the very much in-charge and matriarchal Morticia was both tall and elegant and looked the part in her long black ankle-length dress and long black hair like Crystal Gale. Boasting dead-pan looks that could kill, this was a very confident performance from a total all-rounder with a great voice and good stage presence who perfectly captured her character’s dry wit. She also proved to be a most impressive dancer, especially in the song and dance number, 'Just Around The Corner', which allowed her to show her macabre emotions of joy.

However, for me, the star of the show was Carrie Hope Fletcher’s manipulative daughter, Wednesday. This amazingly talented girl is a strong performer with a great voice and real stage presence and this was highlighted in her performance throughout, but especially during the ‘coming of age’ song, 'Pulled'.

In the absence of Les Dennis, due to illness, his understudy, Scott Paige, was more than deserving of this role and impressed greatly both in his acting, comic timing and vocal ability, especially as he was acting so much ‘out of age’ in this part. Despite playing the loveably crazy uncle, Fester, he provided lovely vocals during his gentle ballad, 'The Moon And Me' and as the show’s narrator character.

Dickon Gough had a dream role as the ever-growling zombie-like butler, Lurch, and played one of musical theatre’s great non-speaking parts exceptionally well, while Grant McIntyre, as Pugsley, played the younger brother with a grown-up attitude well.

There was good support from Charlotte Page’s fully-disclosed Alice, Dale Rapley’s typical American parent, Mal, and his college student son, Lucas, played by Oliver Ormson, while Valda Aviks’ eccentric Grandma was good, but I would like to have seen more of her character’s outspoken and irreverent attitude. 

Perfectly-timed sound effects and special visual effects like the thunder and lightening, the monster in the box and the use of individual ancestors in the portrait painting all added to the success of this slick production.

Thanks to the brilliant lighting, costumes, props, make-up and hair, this was a visually stunning show from its strong opening to its unusual ballad ending … absolutely ‘finger-clicking good’ throughout!

The Addams Family runs at the Grad Opera House, Belfast until October 7th.


Photo credit: Matt Martin