Review: The Addams Family, Alhambra, Bradford

Remember The Addams Family? That creepy, sexy and laugh out loud funny television series? Good. Remember the big screen version back in the early 1990s, with Angelica Houston as a brilliantly vampish Morticia and a young Christina Ricci as the deadpan, macarbe Wednesday? Again good. Treasure those memories because this musical version rides roughshod over the original which began life as a New Yorker comic strip.

Thursday, 6th July 2017, 2:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th July 2017, 2:46 pm
The Addams Family musical. Photo by Matt Martin
The Addams Family musical. Photo by Matt Martin

The main culprit here is the story, which is just too weak to sustain a show which runs to two and a half hours. Wednesday (Carrie Hope Fletcher) has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke (Oliver Ormson) an all-American boy next door. Worried her families eccentricities might scupper their marriage plans she invites her in-laws to be round for dinner. If only they had decided to elope and we might have all been spared this flat, two dimensional production.

There are a couple of good numbers, namely Full Disclosure which closes the first half and gives you hope that things might be about to get better. They don’t and even some nice performances by Valda Aviks as the suitably off-beat Grandma and Charlotte Page as Alice Beineke, the uptight baseball mom who finds her inner-vamp in the cobwebbed halls of The Addams Family residence, can’t save it.

It’s an idea which has been done better, so much better, in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and while Les Dennis provides the odd welcome diversion as Fester, he falls some way short of Richard O’Brien’s Riff Raff.

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The Addams Family is ripe for staging as a musical, but this UK touring production, which will end in a West End run, is sadly suffering from rigour mortis.

To July 8.