REVIEW: King’s Lynn Players perform The Addams Family

King's Lynn Players:  The Addams Family - Left to Right ' Greg Avis ' Pugsley, Jo Sherry ' Grandma, Bryony Ding ' Morticia, Tom Clarke ' Gomez, Lauren Ashby ' Wednesday and Ian Ding ' Uncle Fester ANL-150809-104048001
King's Lynn Players: The Addams Family - Left to Right ' Greg Avis ' Pugsley, Jo Sherry ' Grandma, Bryony Ding ' Morticia, Tom Clarke ' Gomez, Lauren Ashby ' Wednesday and Ian Ding ' Uncle Fester ANL-150809-104048001
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The Addams Family, The King’s Lynn Players

King’s Lynn Art Centre

This was scarily good ... a monstrous success ... positively a howling success for Halloween!

The King’s Lynn Players really came up trumps with this brilliant musical comedy, based on the beloved black-and-white US sit-com of the 1960s.

For those who don’t remember, the Addams were the odd-ball family of lively characters more dead than alive who live in central park.

In this tale, head-of-the-household Gomez (Tom Clarke) is confronted with a worrying dilemma when his daughter Wednesday (Lauren Ashby) confides a secret. Should he keep it from his wife Morticia (Bryony Ding), from whom he keeps nothing?

Add into the mix Moon-worshipping uncle Fester (Ian Ding), weed-smoking Grandma (Jo Sherry) and junior masochist Pugsley (Greg Aviss) – not to mention butler Lurch (Matt Dack) – and you have a recipe for anarchy when they all agree to be “normal” for the visit of Wednesday’s boyfriend’s family.

But it turns out that for Mal Beineke (Tim Ingall), his wife Alice (Alex Rasberry) and son Lucas (Ross Woodhouse) “normal” can be a moveable and life-changing concept!

This is a great ensemble production. Tom Clarke brings just the right lightness of touch needed as the leading man while Bryony Ding positively sizzles as the headstrong Morticia. Her performance of the show’s best-known song, Just Around the Corner – about the comforting thought of death – is one of the highlights.

Other scene-stealing moments come from Jo Sherry as grandma and Greg Aviss’ Pugsley with his big number What If. Greg celebrated his tenth birthday on the opening night ... incredible.

Sara-Jane Brennock, director and choreographer, and musical director Samantha Ashby, also deserve a lot of credit for the way they marshalled the large chorus (there was a total cast of 33), and the orchestra, – they all played their part well and sounded spot-on, Nick Watkinson and Scott Hunter for lighting and sound and the costumes and make-up team also must really take a bow.

The Broadway script is a little risque, and it has one or two American references that may be lost in West Norfolk. Also for reasons of plot, the writers have given Wednesday a rather sunnier character than the proto-Goth fondly remembered by many. But these are minor observations. This really is a show not to be missed. It is on tonight (Thursday) Friday and Saturday, at 7.30pm, with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.

Mark Leslie