Here is our review for the show at the Palace Theatre from 4th - 6th November
We have all missed live theatre but what we’ve missed the most is just laughing out loud and enjoying a good night out, and The Little Theatre Company’s production of The Addams Family is a really great entertainment that doesn’t outstay its welcome.
It opens by introducing us to the whole dysfunctional Addams family locked away in their decrepit old mansion on the hill.
There’s the ravishing Morticia played by Gemma Garracher and the hot Latin lover Gomez her husband played by Ian Benson in a role made for his considerable talents, we have Uncle Fester ably portrayed by the experienced Bradley Green giving a great rendition of “The Moon and Me” in the second half, Grandma - a great and nutty turn here by Kate Andrews, young Charlie Cater with a sparkling soprano voice being demonstrated on his solo in the first half and Wednesday Addams played by the superb and clear voiced, Becca Pooley who did a marvellous job on “Crazier than You” while also wrestling with a crossbow not an easy feat.
Last but certainly not least is Lurch a real star of the show with a beautifully timed and understated performance by John Bearman - oh I almost forgot although you wouldn’t know it - Cousin IT played by Lewis Carlile.
Confidence is abound in this competent cast replete with the all the ancestors involved in many scenes and acting as a chorus and tap dancing throughout the big show numbers. Ian Benson is delightful to watch embracing Gomez and his voice handles his big songs extremely well, Gemma swirls about in her sleek black dress and those delectably high cheek bones were made to play Morticia, I particularly enjoyed “Just around the Corner” with the ancestors - her big moment.
Now to the Beineke family, I loved the energy displayed by Ami Roberts as Alice Beineke when she totally took over in “Full Disclosure” the big first half finisher. Jamie Redgate was also impressive as her common all-garden spouse Mal Beineke and I saw an assured performance from Chris Higginson suitably attired as his son Lucas totally besotted by Wednesday.
Director Tim Cater brought all the comedy to the fore with all the one-liners beautifully hit home by the cast and fairly minimal staging that wasn’t without some issues here and there but this is to be excused on a first night. There was beautifully funny and unexpected adlibbing which just endeared me to the show even more. I am sure the stage manager John Blatchford will have noted this and will sort it out. I also appreciated the more adult humour slid into this production.
Choreography was by Paige Williamson and she certainly worked hard there, a nod to the wardrobe team especially with the costuming of all the ancestors and to musical director Alex Wood.
My friend who accompanied me loved the show and she had never seen it before her one word review “superb” says it all.
Little Theatre Company proves again what a rich seam of talent we have here in Southend especially in musical theatre this show is a popular show but the house I saw proves how much audiences enjoy it and how it draws on a long running historical television show and numerous Hollywood iterations to inject itself into modern theatre.
Full Disclosure – you knocked it out of the park guys welcome back!