Addams Family comes to Wolverhampton Grand
An all-star cast will bring a new production of The Addams Family to Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre from Tuesday until October 21.
The show stars Samantha Womack as Morticia Addams, Les Dennis as Uncle Fester and Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday Addams.
Everyone’s favourite kooky family are on stage in the UK premiere of a spectacular musical comedy from the writers of multi award-winning hit musical Jersey Boys, with music and lyrics by Tony Award nominated Andrew Lippa.
Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, is all grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows. She’s fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family.
With his cherished Morticia in the dark will Gomez manage to keep his daughter’s secret until the two families meet for a fateful dinner . . . with hilarious consequences?
Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley and more will play out a heart-warming story of love, family and friendship . . . with a twist.
Carrie Hope has previously featured in numerous musicals, including Les Miserables, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Music was always part of her life; her father plays guitar and sings in pubs and clubs while her mother is Disney-obsessed.
“We always had some kind of musical playing in the background, and me and my brother [Tom Fletcher of McFly] would sing along in the car. I remember loving Beauty and the Beast on stage – all the girls wanted to be Belle.”
Carrie Hope loved the opportunity to escape by playing different characters. “I could hide behind a character and become a different person. I was actually quite shy at school – I took a back seat, and I was terrified to put my hand up in class – but I was first in line for the school plays.
“Acting can be escapism, a way of getting away from your own situation and insecurities. Someone asked me whether it’s hard performing if I’ve had a bad day or I’m stressed out, but actually that’s the best time to go play a character.”
The performer always wanted to purse acting and singing as a career and as a youngster featured in such West End shows as Les Mis, Mary Poppins and Chitty.
“I was blissfully ignorant – it was amazing to be a part of, but I didn’t realise the scale of it all and how important a role it would play in my life when I grew up. It was just a fun thing I’d do every couple of days. Looking back, it was pretty cool: I had a flying car, a flying nanny and I was part of the revolution.”
She was familiar with the show before accepting the role: “I grew up with the films. I’m a big fan of dark humour – I love Tim Burton and The Munsters. I didn’t realise there was an Addams Family musical until about four years ago, when Andrew Lippa did a concert in London and I sang Wednesday’s song Pulled. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know the musical, so I researched everything I could, and then when I heard about the UK tour I said to my agent “Please, please, I have to do this”.”
Les Dennis, meanwhile, plays Uncle Fester. He shaved his head so that he could play the role – and is having a blast.
“I’ve made a conscious decision to keep moving and keep reinventing,” he says. “If you stay where you are, you stagnate. If I was hoping to do variety shows like I did at the Alex, in Birmingham, all those years ago then my days of work would be few and far between.
“You have to diversify and play different characters so that you can keep going as long as you like. You have to keep surprising people. The Guardian put The Addams Family in their Top Picks. They said: ‘The long and strange career of Les Dennis takes another turn’. I took that as a compliment. Nobody can second guess what I’ll do next, me included. I don’t have a plan. If somebody comes up with a good idea, I’ll do it.”
The star, best known for a diverse TV career, says the show is suitable for fans of all ages.
“I think it’s absolutely suitable for all ages – I have a little boy who’s only 6 and he loves it! Although obviously older audiences will be more familiar with the original TV series – even right from the moment the orchestra strikes up, the audience are already clicking along! And kids these days are used to watching films such as Hotel Transylvania which has that slightly dark, ghoulish feel about it, so I really think it will appeal to all ages. Carrie Hope and Oliver Ormson really bring that young vibe to the show too. We’ve got everything for all ages right across the board, and I think that the humour is very smart and funny, but also very silly.”