LOVE is at the heart the musical version of The Addams Family, and if the famously gruesome family has a message it is a sentimental song of family values and romance.
It’s also a hilarious romp peopled by the undead forebears of the legendary Gomez and Morticia, set in their creepy mansion in central park where daughter Wednesday is determined to entertain the parents of her secret fiance, Lucas.
Uncle Fester, deep in love with the moon, performs a routine of almost SnowShow poignancy with his beloved. Lurch weeps and sings, Thing does his, Gomez and Morticia passionately love and part, Pugsley plots, Granny cackles and Lucas’s stodgy parents re-discover their youthful energy.
It’s a terrific show full of stunning set-piece numbers and the members of Castle Cary Amateur Theatrical Society do it proud, all lavishly costumed from the welcoming spectral ushers and the parade of ancestral spooks to the leading characters, directed with panache by Luke Whitchurch.
Paul Brolly and Vikki Whitchurch are perfect as Gomez and Morticia, and Elena Morgan gives a spirited performance as the lovelorn teenager Wednesday, with Harrison Caine as her pugnacious brother. You never see a bad performance by Quentin Mitchell, and here he extends his repertoire to encompass the other-worldly Fester. Caroline Lee has great fun as someone’s grandmother, and Duncan Wright’s Lurch is a butler from hell and back.
Perhaps the revelation of this production is Amanda Lowder’s Alice Beineke, the rhyming mother of Lucas. Her number Waiting is worth the ticket price. Theo Simon is her once-interesting husband.
And Lucas Edwards fulfills his CATS promise as the gawky but romantic Lucas.
My one criticism of this production is that for the first time the company chose to use a taped score rather than a live band. Not only was it sometimes much too loud, even near the back of the hall, but it led to awkward pauses as the action waited for the music. Please go back to the excellent live musicians for which CATS has built up an enviable reputation.
The Addams Family continues at Ansford until Saturday 18th February.