A real rising star of the stage, Carrie Hope Fletcher is fast becoming West End royalty. Well known for her portrayal of Eponine in Les Misérables, the ultra talented performer recently took on the role of Truly Scrumptious opposite Lee Mead in the acclaimed touring version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Not content with a successful career on the stage however, the charismatic star is also a successful author and her down to earth and engaging personality have made her a YouTube sensation, gaining her an enviable fan base.
Carrie’s next theatrical adventure will see her playing Wednesday Addams in the British premiere of The Addams Family, which will embark on a nationwide tour later this month.
We ask Carrie to tell us about the new production.
The show is wonderful and I think the whole cast is in love with it. We’re all really excited to come to work every day. It’s a totally new type of Addams Family that nobody has seen before. We have the 60s TV series and the movies in the 90s but this is The Addams Family a little bit more grown up. Wednesday is 18 – she’s always portrayed as being much younger than that; between the age of eight and twelve in the TV show and the movies – she’s a woman and she’s fallen in love. She asks her father to keep a secret for her and he never keeps any secrets. Morticia and Gomez have this brilliant marriage where they are totally honest and totally truthful with each other, so this is the fist time Gomez has had to lie and it makes the family wobble. We see The Addams Family in this, sort of, challenging scenario and it’s the first time we see them struggle a little bit.
Wednesday Addams was given her name by Charles Addams, when the beloved New Yorker cartoon strip was adapted into the 1964 television series. The name comes from the nursery rhyme, which states that “Wednesday’s child is full of woe” Carrie tells us about her take on the mistress of melancholy.
She’s very dark and very torturous. Any normal teenage girl – when she falls in love – is crazy and you probably need to give her a wide berth but Wednesday is very dark and a little bit psycho. Usually she’s found in the basement of The Addams Family house torturing her brother and so when she’s got all of these hormones running around her body, she’s in love and you give her a cross bow, which is her weapon of choice, you definitely need to stay away from Wednesday.
Have you projected elements of your adolescent self onto the character?
Absolutely! I was a nightmare at the best of times, but when I was infatuated with a boy , you didn’t want to come near me. A lot of Wednesday is based on me as a teenager. I feel so bad for Oliver Ormson who’s playing Lucas (Wednesday’s boyfriend) because he didn’t see it coming. He didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he signed up for this job.
The television series of The Addams Family was hugely popular and the characters gained further plaudits following the smash hit film franchise, which starred Raúl Juliá as Gomez, Anjelica Huston as Morticia, Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester and Christina Ricci as Wednesday. We asked Carrie if she was a fan of The Addams Family prior to getting involved with the musical?
I was obsessed with the movies when I was a kid and my mum loved the original 60s series, which used to be on TV playing reruns, so I remember them vividly. I’ve always loved The Addams Family and I’ve always had a dark streak. I love Tim Burton movies; Sleepy Hollow , Edward Scissorhands, A Nightmare before Christmas and I love all of that stuff, so The Addams Family was in amongst that obsession of mine when I was a kid. When I heard there was a musical, it was like two worlds colliding. I couldn’t believe my luck and I researched everything I possibly could. When I heard that it was coming to London, I rang my agent straight away and said “Get me an audition quick”.
Carrie Hope Fletcher’s brother Tom rose to fame as part of the pop rock band McFly but has himself become a massive YouTube star. Wednesday Addams has a notoriously strange relationship with her brother Pugsley (who will be played by Grant McIntyre) and we ask Carrie if there are any similarities to her relationship with her famous sibling.
I think any brother and sister like to wind each other up and torture each other, but the difference with Wednesday and Pugsley is that they really enjoy it. They love each other dearly and love to torture each other and it’s all done completely out of love.
We ask Carrie why people should got to see The Addams Family
There is nothing like The Addams Family. There is no show that’s ever been on anywhere that is like The Addams Family. The whole cast is completely in love with it and we’re so excited to get audiences in to showcase this show. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this about a show before and the music is so clever and so brilliant. But the amazing thing about this show is that whilst it’s a comedy, it’s so beautiful and it’s about a family, a family who all love each other. There are bits of the show that absolutely break our hearts every time we’re rehearsing them. There’s a song called Happy/Sad that Gomez sings to his daughter and whilst they are The Addams Family and they’re a kooky clan of people, it’s about a father watching his daughter grow up and having to let her go. It’s kooky and crazy and it’s a beautiful show that you’ve got to come and see.
Photo by Ed Baker