Sprowston Community Academy present their production of the musical, ‘The Addams Family’ for five performances in June, after the ‘Beast from the East’ prevented the show from being performed in March.
Sprowston Community Academy have a strong reputation for launching large scale musical productions with huge casts of talented young performers. Following recent successes with ‘We Will Rock You’, Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’, and ‘Oliver!’, they were all set to perform in March this year with the deliciously dark and hilariously funny new musical comedy of ‘The Addams Family’.
Having transformed the school hall into a fantastic theatre space with a professional sound and lighting rig, the cast and crew of of 70 young people and 12 professional musicians were all ready to perform to a seating capacity of 1000 over five performances. However, the production was completely thwarted when the terrible weather in March dumped snow and ice on the school site, rendering it unsafe and totally inaccessible for pupils, teachers and the public.
Director, Anna Lawrence said: ‘It was devastating, we had finished our dress rehearsal on the Tuesday evening but, even as the cast and crew left the school building at 10 pm, the school car park was already covered in several inches of snow. The following day our Head Teacher had to close the school site, as it was impossible to access the school safely, and we then had to take the terrible decision to not open on the first night’
The remaining four performances were also eventually shut down as the situation did not improve. The compacted ice on the site made the car park treacherous for both cast and audience, and after three months of rehearsal, the young people involved were understandably devastated. The license holders were contacted in New York to ask for their advice, and they kindly understood that the situation had been caused by the adverse weather, and allowed the show to be rescheduled for June. The decision had to be taken quickly to find a set of dates that would be clear of GCSE and A Level commitments, and the 20th – 23rd June was chosen.
Parent Paul Rowlands whose son Sam takes on the lead role of Gomez Addams said: ‘My son Sam (like I’m sure everyone else involved) had put his heart and soul into the rehearsals and preparations, and every day he got more and more down as the performances were understandably cancelled due to the weather. When the decision was made that the 5 shows will go ahead in June I suddenly had a happy Gomez once more!’
Sprowston Community Academy have always done a 5 performance run to really reflect the amount of time and effort that the young people have spent training on the shows. They also do a Saturday matinee which is always popular with the public. For March the tickets had sold very well, but the shows are always predicated on box office takings, and for June there is now the need to re-hire the equipment that allows the school to make a professional-style theatre space with radio mics, stage effects and so on.
Musical Director, Chris Causon said: ‘The companies that we work with have been very generous with their time and commitment. ‘Emotive Sound and Light’ have squeezed us into the week in June, despite being then firmly ensconced in the Wedding Season. Vicky Sidnell at ‘Costume World’ has kindly allowed us to store all of the Ancestors’ costumes safely in school in the run up to the new dates. Inevitably, though, there are some re-hire costs to cover. We have upped our seating capacity and would love the public to come and support the show that was stopped by the snow, and we really do promise them a really great night out.’
The show runs for five performances including a Saturday matinee, and children (and adults if they wish!), are invited to dress up in Halloween-style Fancy Dress for the matinee performance.
Based on the TV series and Films, the non-conventional Addams Family live in their spooky mansion somewhere in New York’s Central Park. Gomez and Morticia have an everlasting love, but their peculiar brand of romance threatens to be unhinged when their daughter, Wednesday, falls in love with a ‘normal’ boy. Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandma, and a huge ensemble of the Addams Family Ancestors oversee the chaos and comedy that ensues when Lucas and his parents are invited over for dinner. The lives of the characters are told in an hilariously witty script, and enhanced by Andrew Lippa’s wonderful score, which includes songs such as ‘When You’re an Addams’, ‘Just around the Corner’, ‘Full Disclosure’, and ‘Let’s Live Before We Die’. The music evokes the darkly comic atmosphere of a family story which, at the heart of it all, celebrates truth, love and life itself.
The Addams Family – Wednesday 20th – Saturday 23rd June 7.30pm, 2.30 Saturday matinee at Sprowston Community Academy.
Tickets: www.ticketsource.co.uk/sprowston Tel: 01603 485266