Based on the iconic 1960s TV show, The Addams Family The Musical Comedy this month returns to the Midlands to entertain audiences with its quirky dark humour and impressive musical score. What’s On recently caught up with Cameron Blakely, who plays Gomez, to get his take on the show...

If you’re up for an evening in the company of a kooky collection of freaks, weirdos and goofballs, then The Addams Family is the show for you! 
The all-grown-up-now princess of darkness, Wednesday Addams, has fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family. Wednesday’s dad, Gomez, knows about the romance, but mom Morticia remains blissfully unaware of the situation. And that’s very much the way it needs to stay, at least until the dinner at which the two families will finally meet. 
Needless to say, not everything goes according to plan... 

What’s in store for audiences who come to see The Addams Family, Cameron?
A lot of quirkiness, a lot of laughs and a lot of miscommunication. In a way it’s like a dark farce. And I think everyone needs a bit of escapism at the moment. Whether it’s any form of the arts, be it theatre or music, it’s lovely to be able to forget what everyone’s been going through and just have a great time.

What are you most looking forward to about being back on stage?
Just the thrill of doing what you’re trained to do, your main vocation, and to connect with a crowd again - knowing that you’re hopefully making people happy and making them laugh. It’s also going to be great seeing other parts of the country because we’ve all sort of been in enforced prison mode for such a long time. 

Gomez is such an iconic character. How do you put your own stamp on him?
I was always a great fan of Raoul Julia, who played Gomez in the movies. I wanted to make him quite Spanish, as he was in the films, and to make him like a matinee idol romantic type rather than too silly. I loved the original TV series very much, but I wanted to make it fresh and not to be hindered but inspired by Raoul’s Gomez, whilst also trying not to copy him. It’s such a great role because it has everything. And the way the composer has written the score, it’s different for each character, so Gomez gets all the sort of Latin music - very melodramatic and romantic with a Spanish feel to it.

Do you have anything in common with him?
I do secretly quite like growing a moustache in a retro 1970s way. I got quite attached to it when I first did the show in 2017 and didn’t get rid of it for about a year afterwards. With Gomez’s romanticism, I’m quite similar to him in that sense, as am I when it comes to his passion. 

Tell us a bit about your costume for the show…
I mostly get to wear the iconic pinstripe suit with a bowtie, occasionally smoking a cigar, and I have nice black & white spats. Then, in Act Two around the dinner table, I’m in a beautifully loud and garish smoking jacket with a cravat.

The show is full of great musical numbers. Do you have a favourite to perform?
There’s one called Happy/Sad, which is a lovely reflective song that Gomez sings to his daughter about being in love and how much she’s grown over the years. It always makes me think of my own little girl, my daughter Noelle. I always think of her when I sing that song. When I first did the show in 2017, I remember I got this big lump in my throat and really struggled not to cry. I thought: ‘Oh dear, I need to get control of this. It’s terribly un-British of me!’

Can you recall when you first encountered The Addams Family?
I think it was the first movie, starring Raoul Julia and Anjelica Huston. I’d grown up knowing about The Addams Family, but I was more the age group of The Munsters. 

The Addams Family began life as a cartoon in the 1930s, became a TV show in the 1960s, a film franchise in the 1990s and a musical in the noughties. Why do you think it has endured for so long?
People inherently like Halloween and the macabre, plus there’s this mishmash of very odd characters in the same family. There’s also the darkness and the fun the Addams Family have around graveyards and moonlight. I think viewers are fascinated by the juxtaposition of light and darkness and how it’s completely flipped. It’s just fascinating, and there’s so much dark humour you can get out of that. 

Now you’re heading back on tour again, what’s the one thing you couldn’t be on the road without?
Because I have to stay in shape for the tango number, it would have to be my resistance bands. I know that sounds awfully virtuous, but this last year I’ve mainly just been sitting down and driving. There’s a five-minute tango at the end of the show, so I’ve started training and running again - which my body hated at first, but once all the blisters have settled down, I’ll be fine. Taking the resistance bands on tour with me means I can keep fit and trim.

The Addams Family shows at The Alexandra, Birmingham, from Tues 18 to  Sat 22 January and Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, from Tues 29 March to Sat 2 April