Interview: Kooky new role for Samantha Womack
For an actress who has done many musical theatre productions, Samantha Womack admitted that a role in another one wasn't top of her to do list after Eastenders.
Having previously done South Pacific and Guys and Dolls, she now plays the the of Morticia in The Addams Family musical coming to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate from Tuesday May 9 to Saturday May 13.“I agreed to go to the initial meeting, but I wasn’t convinced,” she told me.But preparing for that meeting entailed a certain amount of research, during which Samantha found her mind being changed.“Immediately I got a very clear sense of how I should play the role. I’d never played a character that was so deadpan before and as I read the script I really started to enjoy it. “I also really liked the character-style of singing, which was different to me. Suddenly I couldn’t stop thinking about it; I was being seduced!”For those of us who are new to The Addams Family, how would she sum up Morticia?Samantha said: “Morticia is the matriarch of the family and she tends to everyone carefully. She believes in truth and is a good home maker. She believes in everything to do with herfamily and that’s her religion really.“If an untruth is told then it really will break her heart.”“The whole thing about the Addams Family is they are supposed to co-exist in this perfect world for them.“Which is dark and strange but they don’t argue.”Telling the story of Wednesday Addams, a princess of darkness with a shocking secret, when her father Gomez learns that she has fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family, he must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Inviting Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and family to dinner, meeting Lurch, Pugsley Uncle Fester and the rest of the clan will ensure that it’s a night that nobody will forget in a hurry. There have been films and TV series but does she have a preference. Samantha said: “I liked the series in the 60s and for me, that is the closest to my Morticia in thatshe’s kind of warmer, less arch, less knowing. Almost as if she is fascinated with the old movie sstars of the time. “I enjoyed that series and the comedy in that was just brilliant. The casting was phenomenal.“I probably know that more than the film though my daughter knows the films.”And what challenges does playing the part of Morticia entail?She said. “My biggest challenge is not moving so facially trying to stay interesting but being very devoid and trying to be economical with it. It is hard to keep that interesting. There is a lot of bird like movements but not moving the face.“It is quite hard not to laugh as well as we have Cameron Blakely, who plays Gomez, who is making everyone laugh.”Samantha is particularly looking forward to the Northampton date as it will be a chance to be close to her home.“Touring is exciting and each theatre gets a slightly different production, because architecturally and acoustically every theatre is a different experience.“I also like to know where I am at, so I do excursions where I can and I do endless walking,” smiled Samantha, who is particularly looking forward to visiting Northampton.“It’s a week that gives me the best of both worlds because I get to live at home and commute to the theatre to do the show. “That’s a real treat when you’re touring, especially when the theatre and its staff are so lovely. The Royal & Derngate is a fantastic venue.”Tickets for the show cpst between Â£14 and Â£37. These can be booked by calling the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk where more details are available.