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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Young 'Uns make frighteningly good job of The Addams Family

* The memorable dinner scene at the end of act 1.

* Gomez and Morticia take centre stage flanked by Lurch (left) and Uncle Fester.

* Wonderful Wednesday.

Llangollen Operatic Society’s Young ‘Uns have made a frighteningly good job of The Addams Family, a musical tale of the everyday life of a ghoulish American family.

Thanks to its fabulous costumes and chillingly atmospheric setting, the whole scary spectacle they will be staging at Llangollen Town Hall from this Thursday to Saturday takes on a dreamlike – or should that be nightmare? – quality.

Add to this some superb performances pitched, in both acting and singing respects, well above their ages the 27-strong cast from the society’s junior section have created something of a Llangollen masterpiece.  

The Addams Family is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

The show is based on The Addams Family characters created by Charles Addams and tells the story of a creepy clan with a taste for all things macabre. 

At the head of the family are the frightening Gomez Addams and his haughty wife Morticia, recreated respectively by the highly talented Ethan Le Cheminant – sadly making his final Young ‘Uns appearance before heading off to uni to study maths – and the devilishly divine Heledd Edwards.

Living alongside them in their musty dungeon of a mansion are their children, the teenage girl Wednesday and younger lad Pugsley, both with a wholly unnatural fondness for the darker side.

Katy Clark as Wednesday has a staggeringly good voice capable of waking the dead whenever she lets it rip and Dylan Harrison brings a cooky cuteness to the role of Pugsley.

Other occultist occupants of Chez Addams are Ethan Roberts who, thanks to his ingenious bald wig and capacity for sheer on-stage vitality, makes for a memorable Uncle Fester, and Gracie Broadbent as the Grandma of the family. She brings a hard-edged, hard-bitten American style to the part which at times is shockingly effective.

Helping out around the house is butler Lurch, a man who if he isn’t actually one of the undead one suspects would help them out in a crisis. He’s been perfectly packaged and presented by Sam Gonzalez Jones.

The story centres around the affect meeting a “normal” young man has on Wednesday.

Will the blossoming affair with Lucas, who is well played by Freya Mortimer, turn Wednesday normal too or will she stay the kind of gal who likes nothing better than a bit of crossbow practice in her spare time?

We shall see as the plot develops, introducing as it does a hair-raising visit to the Addams’ place by Lucas’s parents Mal and Alice, skilfully portrayed by Will Robinson and Leri Roberts.

All the principal characters, whose efforts are well supported by a live nine-piece band, are brilliant.

But what takes this production to a whole new level for the Young ‘Uns is the dazzling support they receive from a supporting cast portraying the family’s dead ancestors, some harking back to ancient times.

Their costumes, which are simply gobsmacking, are perfectly toned in with the settings and enhanced by some intelligent lighting. All this can be seen to stunning best effect in the dinner scene at the end of the first act which takes on the look of a classical religious painting.

To be commended for putting all this together in such a stylish way are co-artistic directors Robin Crowley and Jo Lloyd, producer Pamela Williams, assistant producer Dee Smith and musical director Julian Cattley.

You can see the show for yourself at the Town Hall from this Thursday to Saturday. Performances start at 7.30pm except the Saturday matinee which begins at 2pm.    

* Tickets for the Addams Family, which are selling quickly, are available online at and also from Jades, Oggies and the Tourist Information Centre at £12 and £10.

* Maybe an unkind cut for little Pugsley.

* Uncle Fester presents some bald talent.

* The butler Lurches in.

* Grandma instructs Pugsley on her potions.

* The potential in-laws come to call. Lucas is on the right.

* The ancestors get in on the act.

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