Review: The Addams Family

How a humble theatre in Erskineville transformed into the undergrounds of New York City

An image of the poster for the show, featuring an illustration of the Addams Family

Expertly directed by Mira Seshan, Katie Miller, and Cassie Park, the lively characters of the Addams Family have been imaginatively brought to life at the PACT Theatre in Erskineville by the Intercol Musical Society in a stunning production based on the Broadway musical. Dazzling choreography, stunning costumes married with skilful design and lighting knitted the dark yet comical musical together, breathing life into each eccentric character on stage. From the brightest yellows to the darkest blacks, a talented selection of college members will send you into the cold underground world beneath New York City where the Addams family resides.

Before the show begins, the stage is basked in the dim glow of red lighting, amidst which a large, uninviting iron gate stands closed. The atmosphere of the ghoulish American family is quickly established by the supporting music from the student band, lead by Musical Director Cassie Park.

Chaos unravels between the families as Wednesday (Georgie Cope) invites her lover Lucas (James Carraro) and his family to dinner.

The audience — who no doubt were familiar with many of those on stage — bellowed equally at the classic humour and modern satirical twists. No-one had any choice but to sit precariously on the edge of their seat in a state of excitement. The fast pacing of the scenes and the swift transitions unveiled new characters in every direction, from the sides of the stage to the balcony overhead.

Some of the scenes were dominated by standout performances, including the grand Gomez  (Eoin Brown) armoured in his exquisite suit and equipped with his fencing sword which he occasionally thrusts out at the audience, jolting them back in their seats. As he powerfully delivered lines of skits through an almost impeccable 20th Century Spanish accent, comical imbuements of modern slang are revealed to lighten the mood. Spectacular dance routines were nailed and dominated by Eleanor Foster (Morticia). One would often have to remind themselves that this was not an Opera Australia Production given the impressive footwork in the thrilling tango, effortlessly pulled off.

Although some scenes were carried out impeccably as though professionals were running through their routine for the hundredth time, other dance routines weren’t the smoothest. There were several moments where the live band covered the lines of the actors. However, these awkward sections beckon us to remember that this is a college production brought to life by university students whose schedules are packed with lectures and assignment work as well.

Overall, Sydney University’s Intercol Musical ‘Addams Family’ is a delight to the senses, expertly balancing questions surrounding identity, normality, and conflicts within love and family structures with comedy in a way that is accessible for all audience members. Wonderfully executed and performed, it’s not one you’d want to miss!

Addams Family is running from the 8th to the 11th of May at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, Erskineville 7pm. Tickets range from $20-35 and can be purchased online here.