Spooky Goings On Scares Theatre Crowd

Get Your Wigle On

The Adams Family

Theatre Severn

Wednesday 13th-Saturday 16th  (Matinee on Saturday)

When there is evidence of a company working hard and happily together one is very quickly aware there has been a lot of work done. The pay offs are immense and the audience get a sense that it is easy when of course, it’s far from that. For the cast to reach that level they breathe together, they react together and they share the experience together. It is that moment when the shared experience also incorporates the audience; it is then the show is great and not just good. Following the evidence this cast have worked so hard. There was no one slacking on the stage, no one hiding from view. This cast is confident, committed and really very good at what they do.

The Addams Family has been around for decades. The story is a of ghoulish family from somewhere in Spain and somewhere in New York. They own a house in the middle of Central Park and are quite avant-garde in their approach to life and death and keep themselves and their dead ancestors amused with scary dance routines and an hilarious sense of the macabre.

Of course the sub text reads everyone in society achieves their own normality no matter how un-normal their lives seem to be to others. Judge ye not, less ye shall be judged. It’s a strong message and in these days of tolerance it is an important message: Live your own life and make your own kind of music, not of course to the detriment of others but for the inclusion. That was the message that one came away with, and it had been told in a fun and non-formulaic way.

The cast portrayed that beautifully with some really great performances and character immersion. Some faces were new and some were making a return to the Wigles, so it was a cast of people who may or may  not have  initially known each other, however Ross Wigley and James Broxton (Director/Choreography and Assistant Director respectively) engendered in them a sense of family and one felt intrigued to be included in their spooky shenanigans.

Choreography is wonderful. There must through the course of the show, be a million dance steps; but in all that, not a one looked out of beat or time or place. It is great to see. There isn’t a lot of space to move a cast of that size around in and yet there were no collisions and no head ons. It all worked beautifully.

Joe Fisher  played Gomez with a commitment and professionality that makes him not just good but in many parts of his performance, greatness glimmered through and it was a pleasure to watch. Much beleaguered Gomez will continue to win admiration for his portrayal throughout the run.

His wife Mortitia (Michelle Hicken) matched Joe’s performance and the pair were hands with great experience and a lot of ability. A pleasure to watch, as they deal with their massively responsible parts, they make a highly entertaining couple.

Wednesday Addams, The Daughter, (Hope Newman) gives a highly, highly impressive account. Her singing may well be her future. I was hearing notes and harmonics that left one feeling deeply satisfied. It is a strong performance and again a massive responsibility. But like stated earlier, Hope makes it all look easy.

Morgan Lewis as Pugsley must be the youngest principal cast member, but carries his responsibility with the skill and committment of a true professional.

Gold medal for characterisation must go to James Archer as Uncle Fester. With his love of the Moon and his gentleness to his family members, one took him directly to one’s heart. James Archer is no stranger to the work of the Wigles and each time he gets better and better. This is an amazing performance and the audience loved him.

But all the cast found and maintained their characters beautifully and Ross Wigley even found time to perform too and  he puts in a sterling performance as the lovesick Lucas.

The American accents throughout were solid and strong.  It is always a gamble to go with accents as naturally some are better at it than others. However in this show the accents across the board are excellent and totally acceptable.

The set was functional and very cleverly offered different height levels, a Director’s gift, there is a whole  theatrical convention involving height and status. This set allows cast members both of those qualities.

The show is dressed well and costume is spot on capturing another element of the story. Colours being introduced to give the idea of innocence or ignorance, is sublime. (Noticeably amongst the comments about the yellow dress.) But you will see I shall not venture further for fear of spoiling the plot.

This is a very well worked and  excellent show, there has been a lot of very hard work put in to make it what it is and what that is, is….excellent all round.

This is a Four Star review.

Owen J.Lewis


Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Three times Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. See more on www.ojlwritingservices.co.uk.

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