By Conor O’Neill
There’s no better sound or feeling to be in Belfast’s Grand Opera House and hearing an orchestra tune up as the energy builds in the building until, at last, the hush as the curtain rises.
Saint Agnes Choral Society have been putting on two shows per year at the Grand Opera House for as long as I remember, and to be perfectly honest, they often put professional touring companies to shame with their professionalism and range of the material they deliver.
This time we’re treated to The Addams Family: The Musical. The age range of the society covers all bases as this production – based on the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Reece, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa – focuses on daughter Wednesday (Aiden Fox) falling for a relatively normal boy called Lucas (Josh Clarke).
It’s a spin on your typical young love’s fear of ‘meeting’ the parents. Easy enough, but when your family lives in a haunted mansion and you have a hand – cousin It – scarpering around, some of the family medically qualified as ‘undead’ and 34 ancestors ghosting around, it’s easy to understand Wednesday’s fears.
Narrated by Uncle Fester (Martin McDowell) this production sees 24 songs over two acts. It’s a Goldilocks of a performance – not too long to give a bad back – the crushed-velvet Opera House seats are not famed for their long-term comfiness, and not to brief to thwart the narrative bubble toward its crescendo. Allen Gordon’s Gomez is just the right mix of doting, worrying father and sardonic, mesmerising, devilish charmer to entertain and each cast member is believable enough to keep even some of the younger members of the audience entertained.
Special mention must be given to choreographer Ann Marie Morgan and director Laura Kerr. With upwards of 50 to direct their job in rehearsal cannot have been an easy one, but going b the performance their, and the entire company’s work has paid off in reams. You’d be forgiven for not forgetting this is and amateur production.
The Addams Family runs up to and including Saturday May 6th 2023.
For booking details visit http://www.goh.co.uk or simply phone the box office on 02890 241919