IODs Addams Family is finger-clicking good at New Wolsey

Owen Berry as Gomez and Charlotte Curtis as Morticia in IODS porduction of The Addams Family at the

Owen Berry as Gomez and Charlotte Curtis as Morticia in IODS porduction of The Addams Family at the New Wolsey Theatre Photo: Dan Oaten - Credit: Archant

The Addams Family have long been ghoulish cultural icons, Helen Clarke thoroughly enjoyed their return to the stage as part of the New Wolsey Theatre’s open season

Review:The Addams Family; book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa.

Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society, New Wolsey Theatre until Saturday June 29

The iconic finger clicking theme from the TV series starts, the graveyard gates at the back of Duncan Broatch's wonderfully atmospheric Gothic set clang open and on come the Addams Family, instantly and ghoulishly recognisable - and you know you're in for a great evening.

The family first appeared as a cartoon drawn by Charles Addams in 1937 and went on to inspire a celebrated television series and two films. Now they have their own musical - which tells the story of Wednesday Addam's romance with 'normal' all-American boy Luke Beineke. Hilarity, and a certain amount of soul-searching, ensues when Luke's buttoned up parents are invited round for 'One Normal Night'.

Owen Berry as Gomez Addams, and Charlotte Curtis as his wife Morticia are simply superb. They dominate the stage, inhabiting their characters down to the last twirl of a moustache and flick of a fingernail. Around them revolve their even more eccentric family: lovelorn Wednesday (Hannah Gingell), moonstruck Uncle Fester (Tom Mayhew), rebellious Pugsley (Oliver Jenkins at this performance, alternating with Shay Sharp-Ling), weed-smoking Grandma (Angela Rankin) and wordless butler Lurch (Ryan Cope) - all played with great comic energy and skill.

This cast has strength in depth, because the Beinekes - Sam Brown as Luke (channeling John Barrowman at his squeakily cleanest), and his parents Alice (Steph Brown, who has a fabulous scene stealing, or possibly table stealing, number) and Malcolm (Stephen Lawrence) are a great foil to the eccentric Addams's.

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The humour is darkly witty. Alice asks Gomez "Do you have a little girls' room?" to which he replies, "We used to, but we let them all go." Morticia sings 'Death is Just Around the Corner' and ends up in a kick line dancing with the Grim Reaper himself. It's camp and wonderful, and director Sally Broatch deserves huge credit for giving the show such kooky flair.

Helen Clarke