University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

SMUTS’ The Addams Family: Reviews

Badger Admin

ByBadger Admin

Apr 16, 2024

“It was a great combination of talents with great direction”

Bella Rosanes, Staff Writer

Going into the show, I didn’t know what to expect. It has been a while since I’ve seen a stage production, after all. But upon the very first notes sung, pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The opening was not only gripping and well-received but it also introduced the amazing performers and their strengths perfectly. Each character, from the main cast to The Ancestors, played their parts to their best renditions, and created a musical that was haunting, hilarious, and heart-warming.

From the get-go, the gripping stance and gravitas of Gomez was perfectly captured and portrayed by Sam Ellyatt. His charisma brought the audience great laughs and awe. I particularly enjoyed his solo number ‘Trapped’ as his vocals encapsulated the audience through a song of his troubles as a good father and a good husband – a performance to be remembered, indeed.

Another remarkable performance was that of Pandora Seymour as Morticia Addams. Seymour’s chemistry with Ellyatt (Gomez) reflected the beautifully dark romance that Morticia and Gomez are known to share. Capturing a character that complex, from the way she walks, to the way her eyes dart around the room, is a sight to behold. This is with the addition of Seymour’s gripping vocals that – despite obvious audio technicalities – perfectly projected through the whole room and never fell flat once. 

Of course, the Addams family wouldn’t be the Addams family without their loyalty and affections. A chemistry captured by the heartwarming performances of: Scarlett Smith as Wednesday, Eleanor Evans as Pugsley, Matt Marshall as Uncle Fester, Lauryn Hill as Grandma Addams, and Morgan Owen as Lurch. Altogether, they created the perfect harmony of love and horror known to be the Addams family. I remember noting how fun it must have been to play Lurch as despite his very few lines, Owen made a compelling character that the audience loved from start to finish.

When I spoke to another audience member, they took note of how The Ancestors were more than just two-dimensional characters. Their performers created stories, and their reactions to scenes made for a cohesive performance that never failed to track humour and drama. They also noticed that the costumes perfectly captured each character and their arcs throughout the entire set.

Overall, the play was a golden success, from start to finish. A magnificent production made possible by the many talents involved. From the amazing direction of Charles Eccles to the band, to the cast, and to all that made it possible. 

“Some people are born to play certain characters, and the guy who played Gomez was undoubtedly one of those!”

Zeeshan Tirmizi, Staff Writer

This was my first time watching any The Addams Family adaptations, so I didn’t know what to expect before entering the ACCA building. I felt flabbergasted after watching the incredible musical adaptation by SMUTS. The show was a full house, and it was evident from the audience that the show would be beyond my expectations. 

Sam and Pandora brought the stage to life by portraying Gomez and Morticia. Gomez turned out to be a bold and lively character from the beginning to the end. In contrast, Morticia’s character dominates the stage as the key decision-maker in the show. Whilst Gomez and Morticia come out as earnest characters, Pugsley and Grandma balance the family equation perfectly with their quirkiness and humour. It becomes evident in the first act that they’re the soul of the Addams family. On the other hand, Lana and Etienne beautifully portrayed the contrasting nature of the Beineke family with their characters, Mal and Alice. 

Between the comedic tension between the Addams and Beineke, the theme of romance was brought to life through the romantic and humorous scenes between Lucas and Wednesday, portrayed by Elliot and Scarlet (Their kissing scene was romantic enough to make the audience blush!) Whilst the musical had the space for romance between lead characters, the ancestors also had their own stories running parallel: Gomez and Morticia kept the audience hooked with their strong personalities, and the ancestors made sure to make the audience laugh with their timely placed comic scenes! 

It was no surprise that everyone was in awe of Libby’s production and Charlie’s direction. However, it is also important to note the role played by the musical artists, who were some of the crucial characters behind the success of this musical, along with the backstage crew who continuously carried and transferred big objects between the scenes! 

Overall, The Addams Family is one of the best musicals I have ever seen, with its powerful performances, jaw-dropping music and phenomenal efforts in the production of the show! I am excited to see what the SMUTS brings for Sussex students in the future – I will be among the first ones to buy the tickets! 

Badger Admin

By Badger Admin

The Badger Newspaper

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