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The Addams Family

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Four stars

Family values are at the heart of things from the opening number of the brand new touring production of Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice and Andrew Lippa's musical version of cartoonist Charles Addams' creepy creation. A colourful chorus line of Addams ancestors are raised from the dead to bust some moves that look somewhere between the Rocky Horror Show's Let's Do the Timewarp Again routine and Michael Jackson's Thriller video.

The focus on what follows is on Wednesday, the family's pale and interesting daughter. Having grown up to be a crossbow-wielding teenage goth, she takes a walk on the bright side after falling for the more straight-laced Lucas. Old habits die hard, however, and, as played with sublime sass by Carrie Hope Fletcher, Wednesday tortures her brother Pugsley while belting out an exquisite version of identity crisis anthem, Pulled. In a show riddled throughout with hints of psycho-sexual deviancy, Wednesday takes a leaf out of the William Burroughs book of courtship when she plays William Tell games with Lucas. As his stuffed-shirt parents rekindle their fire, even her parents Gomez and Morticia's fine romance looks set to be redefined.

Co-produced by Aria Entertainment and the Music and Lyrics company in association with the Festival Theatre, Matthew White's production is a knowing cartoon romp that gives full vent to Lippa's latin and tango heavy score. As Gomez and Morticia, Cameron Blakely and Samantha Womack have a ball, and Les Dennis makes Uncle Fester the show's moral heart. As the importance of staying true to who you are is spelt out, in a very different kind of American horror story, this is Fletcher's show.

The Herald, April 27th 2017

ends

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