All parents know that glazed look kids get when we start giving them a ‘life lesson’. And, unfortunately, their little ears close down at about the same time! For most lessons in life, children learn experientially from parents and the extended family – or, especially for expats in Singapore, from an extended circle of friends. As we’re all human, it may not always be the ‘right message’ that’s getting across – and, as I mentioned, sitting them down and discussing certain topics is challenging.
Reading (if they like reading) allows them to absorb different views. At the same time, research has shown that our brain is mainly an image processor – apparently, the part of the brain that processes words is quite small in comparison to the visual side. So, it makes sense that a live show, and the visuals and sound linked to it, will also provide a great learning opportunity for children. The visual memory or cue will remain with them for years, too – I still remember vividly one of the live performances I watched when I was five, and that was a very long time ago!
Most children want to be normal, and they’re mortified if they don’t perceive their family to be so, even up until the post-teenage years. So, how do we get the message across that every family is different, and that different doesn’t mean ‘bad’? They don’t want to hear it from the very people who they perceive to be at the root of the problem.
The message of The Addams Family is that they are definitely not a typical family, and people view them as different – but they are still happy and positive, and, most importantly, loving and caring. Coming to Singapore soon with a cast direct from the UK, is a new musical comedy production of the show. The storyline hinges around Wednesday Addams, the baby of the family, who is now all grown up and falls in love with a boy from a ‘normal’ family. Is there trouble on the horizon or will they be able to accept him?
One of the stars of the show is Carrie Hope Fletcher, who plays Wednesday. At just 24, this young talented actress has already performed in many world-class productions. We asked her about her years in the theatre scene and what we can expect from the show.
When, how and why did you get into theatre?
My first role was when I was seven, in Les Misérables at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End. I’ve always loved performing and from a young age I knew it was what I wanted to do in life!
What do you love the most about performing?
I love telling stories and evolving into a different person for the night.
What are some past productions you’ve performed in? Got any favourites?
I’ve been in Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins, War of the Worlds and now The Addams Family! Performing in Les Misérables had always been a dream of mine and I’ve been fortunate enough to do so three times. I performed once as a child and twice as an adult, and the second time as an adult was in Dubai. It was the first musical I ever saw and it will always hold a special place in my heart!
What can we expect from The Addams Family?
It’s a kooky and crazy show filled with brilliant music, beautiful sets and costumes, and an array of mad characters. It’s unlike anything you have ever seen before!
What’s your favourite part of the musical?
I love singing “Crazier Than You” with Oliver Ormson, who plays Lucas Beineke. Wednesday is a very feisty character and, in that song, it’s her way or the highway!
Do you relate to the character you play?
Wednesday is 18 and in love. I remember what it was like to be feel that way at that age! But with Wednesday, it’s all heightened. I was definitely not as confident as she is, though I certainly wish I was!
What do you believe is the main message of the musical?
What is normal? What’s normal for one person is another person’s nightmare, so who’s to say who is right? As Morticia says, “What’s normal for the spider is a calamity for the fly!”
Any words of encouragement for young actresses like yourself?
Persevere! It’s a tough business and you will face setbacks. You’ll take some knocks but you’re only one “yes” away from landing your dream job. So, if you give up now, you’ll never get it. Keep pushing forward!
The Addams Family – The Music Comedy will be performed at the MES Theatre at Mediacorp from 15 November to 3 December. Get your tickets from Sistic now.
- Tuesday to Friday: 8pm
- Saturday and Sunday: 2.30pm and 8pm
By Rebecca Bisset
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