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Review: Passmores Academy’s The Addams Family: A macabre, magnificent triumph

Education: Secondary / Wed 10th Jul 2024 at 08:52am

The Addams Family: Passmores Academy: Tuesday July 9th, 2024

THE ADDAMS Family is one the most ambitious shows for any school to perform, produce and present.

The fact that the school produced a wonderful, vibrant,hilarious, darkly comic and richly entertaining show pays testament to every single person involved in the production.

We say ambitious as that on paper it has so many opportunities but so many potential pitfalls.

There is no hidden place, you cannot have a weak link. If you do, the show would collapse like a pack of cards.

We have to start with Gomez played by Korban Doyle. At the very least he was the glue that kept the show together but in reality, he was the star of the show. Such presence, such charm and what a character.

However, he was joined by such a series of stellar actors. Morticia can be a bit of a (ahem) poisoned chalice as it is quite a dry, sardonic role that can go under the radar. But in the hands of Eloisa Bellamy, it was a performance of subtle, understated wit and grace.

It is also in numbers towards the end, as in Tango DeAmor, where you appreciate what an excellent singer Eloisa is.

Looking down at this reviewer’s notes, we have the word “showstopper” several times. The audience will confirm that.

If there was a contender for stealing the show, then it was Harrison Houghton as Uncle Fester. He was a wonderfully mischievous, eccentric character but he also commanded the stage, every second he was on it.

He was ably assisted by Shaka Surer as Pugsley and Madeleine Hooker as Grandma. They really got underneath the skins of their characters and also perfected those accents. They were also adept at wonderful delivery. Pugsley had a particular line about ‘ah just put it in the can” that was terrific.

Then there was a beautifully understated performance by Rachel Ricketts as Wednesday. This was not an easy character as she has to straddle the dark and light side but what a debut at Passmores from Rachel. She also sings beautifully and hits a brilliant note in “Pulled” Made even more impressive by the fact that she is in Year 7.

The Beineke family played by Sam Wix, Shayla Surer and Ethan Gilbert were all excellent. We may be asking the Wix family where Sam got the Grateful Dead t shirt from!

They were a mini unit on their own and perfected their parts so well. Shaya was outstanding in the Full Disclosure scene and Ethan did really in the straightest of straightest roles. Good improvisation with the apple scene Ethan!

Can we make special mention of Lurch and Cousin It. Lurch is a classic case of less is more and Cousin It (Able Joes-Adom) was again a perfect cameo.

But having named all the characters, what they had was synergy. They all worked really well together. It is easy to fall into the trap to overact and out-came each other. This was a team game.

We must mention The Ancestors. There must have been at least twenty acting as a chorus and many other roles. Resplendent in white, they played a vital part in the performance. And each had a different character.

This is a play acted by schoolchildren and yet there timing was perfect. Time and time again, they delivered the punchlines, hit the notes, and were step perfect.

All this was delivered by a Creative Team, a Crew, Music and Dance Support and a Set Design Team who must have put hours and hours into getting this right.

The perfect sound, the perfect gravestones, the perfect lighting and the perfect moon.

In August, this journalist makes his way up to review at the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival. Last year, he went after seeing Passmores’ production of Mary Poppins. Last year, he was asked what he is looking for when he reviews? He answered that it is “potential and passion, a love of your art”.

This was an absolute joy. Thank you to Miss Hutchinson for the invitation.

Once again another Five Star: ***** performance.

The Addams Family continues on July 10th and 11th.

For more details,, see below.

https://www.facebook.com/PassmoresAc

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