Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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REVIEW | The Addams Family, ESNA Loughborough.

The Addams Family 

As families go, The Addams Family are probably the kookiest we know. Over the years people have been drawn to their iconic dark and mysterious ways so the launch of the comedy musical was well-received in the UK touring production back in 2017 (read my review) which starred the delightful Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday. Loughborough-based amateur dramatic group, Esna gave the popular comedy musical a go and the standing ovation says it all!

One of the elements I was instantly drawn into for Esna's production is the scenery and overall presentation of this musical. They captured real darkness and suspense in the Addams Family home and this standard of the set alone was surprisingly professional. 

There are fantastic fun and a touch of nostalgia about this production, with very little change in the characters we know as we revisit them again many years later in their family home. The only obvious change is that we see in Wednesday - she is grown up, full of wit and a dry sense of humour but also an underlying need for her family to be normal just for one night, she's about to meet the parents of the boy she's fallen in love with. 

Wednesday needs help though and confides in her father, Gomez, to not tell his beloved Morticia about their early engagement until the two unlikely families are brought together for this one night. They will meet for the first time and a "game" will put friendships and relationships to the ultimate test. 

Danielle's performance as Wednesday is passionate and she has an excellent flare for executing the tough vocals in some of the musical numbers. I definitely wanted her to be less static especially in Pulled where I would have loved to have more believability in her. Nevertheless, she has great talent and was an excellent casting choice for the role. 

Undoubtedly the performances of the night for me came from Gomez (Kirt Hammonds) and Uncle Fester (Phil Burrows). Hammonds brought great depth to the proud father figure that Gomez is and the devotion he has to his family. His voice is almost operatic but it suits the song numbers within the musical perfectly. His dialogue was perfection in comparison to the UK Tour production where I really struggled with understanding what the actor was saying. Hammonds suits the character well and has great timing with the comedic elements - that were well received by the night's audience. Phil Burrows too brought a fantastic devotion to delivering his character. Uncle Fester is very childlike and fun and I felt that Burrows delivered this superbly! 

I also enjoyed how the ancestors transformed the stage and brought the house to life (quite literally). Although there input is more in the song and dance numbers - there was something about their actions within the background that really drew me in. They did an incredible job when they spent the majority of the show on stage and in character! I was very impressed (especially when they have cracking vocals too!)  

However, there was a couple of teething problems for me. The intro number is drawn out slightly - therefore it feels as though it's slowing down pace rather than getting geared up for the start. I also didn't particularly enjoy the dance number with Gomez (Kirt Hammonds) and Morticia (Julie Easter) although they equally have superb characterisation for their roles and a natural stage presence - I felt that their tango dance could have been sharper and cleaner in the delivery. It didn't feel as naturalistic as I would have hoped. 

That being said - the production was hilarious with some clever integration of popular topics in the script and a standard in local productions that could definitely be classed as professional quality. A superb job from the casts and creatives of Esna!

The Addams Family is being performed at Loughborough Town Hall until 12 October. 


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