Tag Archives: Sean Kingsley



London Palladium



“pretty feeble stuff and – despite the talent of the cast”

The Addams Family – originally a single-panel comic before being reimagined in a whole host of television and film adaptions – has become a cult phenomenon. Thus, it was only a matter of time that the famous family would get the musical treatment, first performed on Broadway in 2010. Now, after a successful UK tour, The Addams Family: The Musical Comedy (directed by Matthew White with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa) premieres on the West End with two nights at the London Palladium as an ‘in concert’ show.

Patriarch Gomez Addams (Ramin Karimloo) faces a conflict with his wife Morticia (Michelle Visage, of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame) when their typically morose daughter Wednesday (Chumisa Dornford-May) asks him to keep her shotgun engagement to all-American boy Lucas (Ryan Kopel) a secret. When Lucas and his parents Mal and Alice (Sean Kingsley and Kara Lane respectively) come to dinner to get to know their soon-to-be in-laws, Wednesday’s younger brother Pugsley (Nicholas McLean) causes mischief in an effort to turn his sister’s attention back to him.

The plot is weak and highly cliched. Our three couples – Morticia and Gomez, Wednesday and Lucas, and Alice and Mal – all go through some (very) minor strife before expectedly making up. They all learn some generic advice from one another – how to be honest, how to let loose, and so forth. The audience’s investment can only be minimal when the stakes are so low.

The strongest of the cast are Sam Buttery as Uncle Fester and Dickon Gough as Lurch despite the latter having minimal lines. Dornford-May performs well as Wednesday – she has a great voice. Her interest in Lucas however is baffling – she even calls him the wrong name (Lewis) at one point though its unclear whether this was scripted.

“despite the talent of the cast – not much can be done to enliven such a boring storyline”

The chemistry between Visage and Karimloo is a little lacking. They play their own roles well but one is strained to believe in their relationship, especially given Gomez’s characterisation as the doting husband.

The songs are nearly entirely forgettable. There are some amusing lyrics – most notably in the song Trapped sung by Gomez – but overall, they are uninspired and often come out of nowhere Karimloo delivers strongly in his solos but any group singing fails to pack a punch. Whether this is due to weak microphones, shoddy sound design or lack of enthusiasm from the cast is unclear.

The set (designed by Diego Pitarch) is disappointing even for an in concert performance. A cardboard façade of the skyscraper-clad New York City skyline sits at the back of the stage and a static tarp with stars and a moon shrouds the back wall. And, well, that’s it. Chairs, tables and the odd torture device are wheeled on in a vague suggestion of different rooms in the Addams’ family mansion. Granted, the musical is only scheduled for two nights but anything to suggest the set was anymore than a cheap afterthought would have been appreciated.

The props similarly fail to pack a punch. They are clearly cheap – Visage fails to make a clearly cardboard coffin look heavy at one point – and frankly no fun. There are no surprise hands or creatures jumping out of boxes. No appearance of the family pet Socrates the Octopus – not even a tentacle! Poorly rendered birds on sticks are flown around the stage at one point – I thought they were meant to be some make-belief fluff monster.

The Addams Family: The Musical Comedy – Live in Concert is pretty feeble stuff and – despite the talent of the cast – not much can be done to enliven such a boring storyline.



Reviewed on 12th February 2024

by Flora Doble

Photography by Pamela Raith




Previously reviewed at this venue:




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Once – 5 Stars



Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch

Reviewed – 4th October 2018


“a phenomenal production”


In Dublin, a man is about to leave his guitar behind for good. But a Czech woman needs her hoover fixed, and she plans to pay him in music. So begins a musical partnership, that over the course of a week, will change both their lives. Based on the acclaimed film by John Carney, ‘Once’ is a quietly beautiful story of music, love and loss. This is the first ever regional production of ‘Once’ and what a production it is. It started life at the New Wolsey Theatre, and now opens at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch to a standing ovation.

The actor-musician cast are supremely talented, vocally superb, genuine and often very funny in their performances, alternating between instruments with complete ease. Daniel Healy and Emma Lucia play the central couple. Lucia is wonderful, apparently unphaseable, lively and immediately likeable, the heart and soul of this story. Healy is equally fantastic. Lost and hurt, he sings and plays with an urgency of emotion that is both beautiful and heartbreaking to watch. Their relationship is tangible onstage, the words left unsaid and the complications that surround loving someone. Sean Kingsley as Billy, is a lively comic addition to the production, incongruous and bold. In fact, there isn’t a weak link across the cast.

Libby Watson’s accomplished set creates a familiar pub backdrop, walls heavy with frames, with a roof that lifts to reveal a star studded night sky high above the world. Under Peter Rowe’s direction, the actors remain onstage almost constantly, and a fantastically warm sense of ensemble is created.

Enda Walsh’s book is playful and simple, coupled with music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Swelling folk tunes are followed by beautiful moments of ensemble acapella. This is a phenomenal production, touching and funny and deeply human, delivered by superb performances across the board.


Reviewed by Amelia Brown

Photography by Mike Kwasniak



Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch until 20th October


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Rope | ★★★★ | February 2018
The Game of Love and Chai | ★★★ | April 2018
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert | ★★★ | May 2018
Abi | ★★★★ | September 2018
Abigail’s Party | ★★★½ | September 2018


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