“I’ve gone from playing the dead to the undead”
Les Dennis on his role as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family.
Hiya! It’s just Jordan – this time with a rather special post. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to the press launch of The Addams Family Musical at The Lowry in Salford. The musical stars Corrie’s Les Dennis (also known as Gail’s fifth victim Michael Rodwell) as Uncle Fester in the UK premiere of this fantastically quirky musical adaptation of the creepy and kooky franchise. Being a huge fan of musical theatre, this invitation was such a privilege. Corrie and musical theatre. There hadn't been such a perfect combination for me since Meerkats Movies first aired their Corrie/Wizard of Oz sponsor ad!
After arriving at the gorgeous theatrical complex that is The Lowry, having made it through a very wet Manchester, I was ushered into a room full of press, where there was a general Q&A and a couple of performances of songs from the show. In case you're unfamiliar with the show, the musical is a new take on the infamous comic strip, in which the family must deal with daughter Wednesday's infatuation with a boy who is "normal". Needless to say, hilarity ensues and the overall kooky essence of The Addams Family is captured in the show, right down to Uncle Fester's famous lightbulb, which Les uses gleefully backstage!
"Everything is driven forward by the songs. There's never a song for the sake of it. It's about questioning what is normal. The comedy appeals to all ages and is great for a night out"
I sat down with Les – who has adopted the bald look especially for the show – to discuss his new venture.
Was The Addams Family something you specifically wanted to do after Corrie?Yes. I wanted my next project to be totally different to Corrie. When I got the call, I said yes straight away. I grew up watching the original Addams Family and Uncle Fester is just so different to Michael.You’ve already done a lot of musical theatre, having had roles in Legally Blonde and Hairspray. How do they compare to your role in The Addams Family?
Uncle Fester is a trickier sing than other roles I’ve done. I have a lovely song in Act II called The Moon and Me. It’s a challenge but it appealed to me straight away.
Having already been in soap operas such as Crossroads and Brookside, what was it about Coronation Street that made you stay for three years?
Coronation Street is so special. I watched the first episode and grew up on it. I love it. When I was offered the role of Michael, I immediately said “Yes please!” It’s an institution and I am very proud of have been one of Gail’s husbands.
Were you happy with the way you were written out of Coronation Street?
I was very happy with the way I was written out. I asked for that sort of ending. I could have gone out in a black cab but by killing Michael off, it meant I could say “I’ve done that”. I am proud to have been a part of it.
Do you want Phelan to get his comeuppance?
Being killed by a soap villain such as Phelan means Michael can really be part of Corrie history. I think the storyline with Phelan could go on for a while yet. He’s a clever villain and knows how to get away with things – as people do in real life. But that’s what keeps you hooked as a viewer, when you’re yelling at Eileen wondering when she’s going to see him for what he is.
Which do you prefer? TV or theatre?
I like both but I do love the thrill of live theatre.
Are you still in touch with any of the Corrie cast?
Yes, I’m good friends with everyone over at Corrie. They're all coming to see me when The Addams Family opens in Salford.
The Addams Family Musical, which also stars Samantha Womack (EastEnders) and Carrie Hope Fletcher (Les Miserables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) is currently touring the UK until November.
To find out more about this creepy, kooky and mysteriously spooky musical and book tickets, click here!
As always, Thanks for reading!
Jordan Twitter: @JordanLloyd39
The Addams Family Twitter: @AddamsFamilyUK
Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter