Review: Addams Family, side-splitting Gothic humour at Belfast's Grand Opera House
Ten seconds into the live show at the Grand Opera House and the audience are suitably clicking their fingers in unison - spirits are high and it only gets better.
The Addams Family created a successful TV series in the 60s and two hugely popular films in the 90s, and now the live musical comedy is reintroducing the family's macabre ways for new fans across the UK.
The stage show focuses on daughter Wednesday Addams (Carrie Hope Fletcher) who has fallen for all-American boy Lucas (Oliver Ormson) - leaving her with unfamiliar feelings of love and happiness.
The pair are secretly engaged and Wednesday has invited her love and his parents to dinner at the Addams family mansion - what could possibly go wrong?
Begging her dark brood to appear 'normal' for one evening, Wednesday must weather the storm of Lucas' parents meeting dad Gomez (Cameron Blakely), mum Morticia (Samantha Womack) and brother Pugsley (Grant McIntyre) - as well as Grandma, Uncle Fester, butler Lurch, and a collection of dead relatives who, rather inconveniently, happen to be wandering about the homestead on this particular evening.
Unfortunately the audience were informed that actor Les Dennis was unable to perform as Uncle Fester on the opening night in Belfast as he was unwell, but thankfully understudy Scott Paige filled the role to perfection and acquired some of the biggest laughs on the night.
The huge ensemble cast is filled with outstanding performances, from Blakely's easy charm to McIntyre's lovable mischievousness - but it's Fletcher and her powerhouse vocals that leave the biggest impression.
The actress has a huge following on YouTube thanks to her vlogs and has recently released her second novel - add in her exceptional singing and you wonder if there is no end to her talents.
Apparently there isn't.
Womack as Morticia is another memorising presence on stage as she delivers the wonderfully dark and softly spoken character with necessary restraint, but also manages to weave in moments of humour with ease and a knowing smirk - classic Morticia.
So when Morticia is on stage it is Morticia the audience is looking at no matter what is happening.
The Addams Family is two and a half hours of catchy tunes, eerie atmospheres and genuinely laugh out loud moments that just keep coming.
It's a hugely entertaining show that is a wonderful way to kick off a countdown to Halloween.
- The Addams Family runs at the Grand Opera House, Belfast until Saturday, October 7.
Belfast Telegraph Digital