The Addams Family has been disturbing and amusing people for about 80 years and has proved to be remarkably durable. Beginning as a simple cartoon the Family has survived live and animated TV series, several film adaptations as well as video games. Inevitably a Broadway musical had to follow, in 2010, and now High Peak audiences can enjoy a lively production at the New Mills Art Theatre.
Described as a comedy, the themes are dark indeed – death and familial sado-masochism among them – but in the end it is a love story, and a moving and engaging one at that.
The Addams Family is not your average American family. ‘Gothic’ hardly begins to describe them but at heart they are good people with a clear sense of right and wrong. Gomez (Ian Tyler) and Morticia, his wife (Emma Taylor) have been married for 25 years and remain passionate in their love for each other. They vowed never to keep secrets but when their daughter, Wednesday (Harlie Farmer), falls in love with an ‘ordinary’ boy, Lucas Beineke (Harry Bloor), Gomez proves reluctantly deceitful.
When the lovers’ families meet all are tested and some pass the examination more easily than others before an emotional finale full of surprises – pay attention to Lurch (Grant Quigley).
Along the way we are treated to some authentic lunacy from Uncle Fester (Robbie Carnegie), some potion-powered conspiracy from Grandma (Beverley Eaves) and Pugsley (Connor Wyse) and some hard-earned craziness from Alice Beineke (Jane Eastwood) and husband Mal (Stewart Bowden).
New Mills Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society has assembled a talented cast of 22 for this ambitious show which is expertly directed by David Carlile and choreographed by Carolyn Dent. The set and costumes are excellent and imaginative and the stage is well-lit. The nine-strong band propels things along nicely.
All-in-all a most enjoyable show in a splendid theatre. It can be seen from November 14-17. for tickets go to http://www.nmaods.co.uk, http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/new-mills-aods. Or telephone 07597 642673; email firstname.lastname@example.org. They are also available on the door before every performance
By Keith Savage