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The Addams Family Gets Five Stars!

We are delighted to have received five stars for our Fringe production of The Addams Family - A New Musical from All Edinburgh Theatre!

Read the review below:

The Addams Family – a New Musical

August 8, 2023 | By Hugh Simpson | Reply

★★★★★ Brilliant

Broughton High School (Venue 318): Sat 5 – Sat 12 Aug 2023

Review by Hugh Simpson

Forth Children’s Theatre’s return to the Fringe, with The Addams Family – a New Musical at Broughton High School, is something to be welcomed. And they are as good as ever – if not better.

Given that it has been around since 2009, it is odd that the musical (book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa) is still billed as ‘new’. The plot – Wednesday has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke, the son of a family as unlike the ghoulish Addams clan as possible – is not the most imaginative or carefully structured, but it is a fun affair, complete with sly political references.

Director Lewis C. Baird has fashioned a slick and pacy production using the acting space cleverly. Scene changes are handled with skill and speed, which is symptomatic of the momentum of the whole production. It is difficult to see how FCT could have done this much better.

The pandemic and resultant issues have hampered the previously smooth progression of the cast from one Fringe to another; there is far less stage experience on display than would previously have been the case. But no one could possibly have guessed it, with the singing, acting and dancing being almost ridiculously good.

The show is anchored by Bobby Duncan, whose Gomez has a tunefulness and a swagger in every aspect of his performance. Mya Richardson’s Morticia (a role she shares with Mhairi Smith) is suitably icy, while Jenna Masson (who alternates the role of Wednesday with Lara Shanks) has poise and a notable voice.

It is noticeable that both of them, like Mhairi Finlay (who alternates with Charlotte Dickson as Lucas’s mother Alice), have exceptionally strong voices, but use them sparingly and always in the service of the song. The songs are therefore used to tell the story in a way that rarely occurs in any staging of a musical, and vocal coach Erin Munro deserves great credit.

The vocal duets are also particularly well handled, with Joseph Coane (Lucas) and Joe Tulloch (his father Mal) both playing their part in this. There is also considerable humour from the various other members of the Addams household – Mariella Weir (who share the role of Grandma with Isla Finlay), Bibi Coane (alternating as Pugsley with Neve McClelland) and Grace Higgins as Lurch.

Assistant director Jack Masson took over the role of Uncle Fester at short notice (he will later share with Corin Wake) and exudes genuine joy.

The sound and lighting (by Callum Farrell, Connor Dickson and John Allan) are tremendous, with all of the vocals crisp and perfectly audible. The songs are not the most memorable ever written, with the witty lyrics outshining the music, but they are performed with panache. The nearest thing to a showstopper is Death Is Just Around The Corner, which (like all the other numbers) is brilliantly choreographed by Taylor Doherty.

Special mention must be made of the featured dancers – Chloe Law, Clodagh MacLeay, Emma Swain, Hannah Wilson and Isla Swain, who are versatile and exceptionally impressive, not least in a jaw-dropping tango number with Duncan and Richardson. The ensemble are also melodic and well drilled, with Angie Caulfield’s costumes deserving of praise.

To have an interval that clocks in at fifteen minutes on the dot (including refreshments, raffle, comfort break and all) may not seem a big thing but reflects a production that is as well run as could be imagined. It is also tremendous, tremendous fun. No allowances need to be made for the performers’ age or relative inexperience. This is simply outstanding by any standard.

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