“When you’re an Addams, you need to have a taste for death” sing Gomez and Morticia in the opening number of Andrew Lippa’s musical version of The Addams Family. The musical – book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice – is inspired by the creations of cartoonist Charles Addams. It was Addams who originally created the characters we know and love from the 1960s TV series in cartoons in the 1930s. The characters are bizarre and rather macabre, yet have a strange warmth and charm at the same time.

In this touring version from Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics, Samantha Womack throws off the woes of her EastEnders character to return to the world of musical theatre as Morticia. Womack retains the stance and attitude of the character throughout, does a good song-and-dance number with the family’s dead ancestors, ‘Just Around The Corner’, and has fun letting her long black hair down towards the end of the show in a tango number.

Opposite Womack is Cameron Blakely as Morticia’s husband Gomez – together they create a real sense that they are a couple who love one another, weird though they undoubtedly are! At the centre of the story featured in the musical is a family tale of a father who struggles to let his daughter Wednesday go, encapsulated perfectly by Blakely in the song ‘Happy/Sad’. Carrie Hope Fletcher provides some youthful appeal as their daughter, destined to follow in the footsteps of her parents, and belts out her big numbers.

Musically the score has been changed quite a bit since the original Broadway cast recording and not always for the better. The jaunty opening number ‘When You’re An Addams’ sets the scene well and promises much for what follows. The end of Act 1 number ‘Full Disclosure’ – at the meal featuring the ‘Game’ that Morticia wants them to play with Wednesday’s boyfriend Lucas (a rather wet Oliver Ormson) and his prim-and-proper parents Alice (Charlotte Page, a hoot) and Mal (Dale Rapley) – is also good fun. But not all the numbers make such a mark.

The main problem with the plot of this cartoon-inspired musical is that it just centres on the scenario of that one evening and the after effects, so there is little opportunity for character or story development. But Les Dennis does an endearing turn as Uncle Fester, a man in love with the moon and Valda Aviks – who must have been in a thousand musicals from Martin Guerre to the recent Funny Girl in the West End – makes the most of her on-stage time as the kooky Grandma.

In a show obsessed with death and the dark side, the ensemble play other members of the Addams Family – some past, some present, and some undecided, who come out of the family closet so to speak. The set and costumes bring it all to life effectively with locations ranging from the graveyard to Central Park and the infamous house, but it leaves the audience rather cold. Maybe Lippa’s short-lived Broadway show Big Fish which comes to The Other Palace in the Autumn starring Kelsey Grammer will fair better.