Photos: Lee Wei Lin, Ashley Tan
Video: Philip Ang
Halloween may be over for the rest of us, but not for the cast of The Addams Family yet, who play a creepy, spooky family in the upcoming musical comedy which is showing at Mediacorp’s MES Theatre from this week onwards.
You’d think that after many months of ‘scaring others’, they would be used to anything that goes bump in the night. However, in an interview with Toggle on Thursday, it turns out that they have had a few scary encounters themselves, on set or not, all of which have remained fresh in their memories and made their hair stand.
Rebecca Thornhill, who plays Morticia, the mother of the Addams family, spooked us all when she mentioned how she could already sense a presence in a theatre, where she had previously performed a one woman play. Her instincts would later be proven to be accurate after she began hearing noises and shuffling downstairs. To make matters creepier, she was alone most of the time as she had no fellow cast members. However, she remained unfazed and did not pay much attention to it at that time but said a simple “thank you” for whatever that was “wishing her good luck.”
It was only after her script got rearranged did she ask the producers, who revealed that there were in fact two ghosts on set, one of them who even liked to play tricks.
Upon knowing the truth, the brave actress was not afraid but ironically felt comforted, as she said it was “nice to know that there was something on stage with me.”
Her husband in the play, Gomez Addams, played by Cameron Blakely, also talked about an unexplainable encounter he had as a child that still lingered in his memory even till today.
“When I was about 10, I woke up and saw my twin brother standing over my bed and I could see right through him. I immediately went under the covers and when I looked up, he had disappeared. I went to check on him right away and he was fast asleep,” Cameron shared.
Till this day, the actor has no idea what it represented or if he was simply imagining things. Talk about seeing double….
One lesson that Cory English (Uncle Fester) took away from a particular play would be to always arrive early. He said that he got more than he bargained for when he arrived late for an opening night once.
As there were no more empty seats, Cory had to stand behind where he insisted that he felt a breeze come down his head despite there being no wind around him. After moving to the sides, he realised that only his particular spot was unexplainably cold while everywhere else was warm. He added that he also began getting the chills, but tried to ignore it and was just thankful that he did not see anything out of the ordinary.
The cast of the show were not the only ones to have been spooked. The show’s executive producer, John Stalker, talked about how he used to run a theatre in Edinburgh where an illusionist had died on stage after catching fire. However, he locked everyone in, causing all the other actors to perish in the fire as well, simply because he did not want his tricks to be exposed.
WATCH:The cast of The Addams Family tell us about their creepy encounters on and off stage!
Ever since then, John has been hearing stories from his cast members who would claim that they saw shadows, outlines in the windows, or things falling over by themselves.
It seems that paranormal encounters were not the only things to have kept the cast on their toes. They further shared about how they have had to face some scary, dangerous situations on set.
Grant McIntyre’s character, Pugsley, may be a fan of death-defying acts on the show (he likes getting his limbs stretched) but the actor shared about an experience that happened in the actual performance itself that got him fearing for his life.
“In the opening number, a crow prop did not drop when it was supposed to. The cast became very jittery as we all had to dance under it and we had no idea when it was going to drop. It was very heavy so it could almost kill someone.
“Thankfully it fell during a scene where there was no one was in the way.”
Carrie Hope Fletcher, who plays the lead Wednesday, admitted that she was probably the one to have caused the most fear to Oliver Ormson, who plays her boyfriend on set. The actress shared how she had once hit him in the teeth really hard with her crossbow. Since then, she has been terrified that she would do it again and would always handle the prop with care. Thankfully, it was only a one-time thing and Oliver professionally brushed it off as an honest mistake.
(Continued on next page: Find out what quirky traditions the Addams cast follow on set)
Just like the Addams, the cast also have a few quirky habits that they would follow, whether on set or backstage.
Horror has integrated its way into the lives of the cast and become a very popular topic, where Carrie and Grant shared that members liked to pull pranks on others, in the form of a ‘scare cam’. They would make a deafening weird noise and jump out at the others when they least expected it.
Despite these pranks being pulled frequently, the pair would always fall prey to them and could not seem to get used to it. Carrie added that areas such as coming right out of the shower or places where noise was prohibited were her most vulnerable spots as she would often get caught off guard and freak out.
Although such pranks may only seem appealing to the younger cast, it seems that the older generation also have a few tricks up their sleeve. There has been a long-known tradition of not whistling in the theatre (as it was believed that the sound would attract evil spirits) but that has not stopped the less superstitious cast, who would deliberately do it to spook the more superstitious, older members.
While most of them generally do not get affected, Charlotte Page, who plays Alice, would take extra measures to ‘counter’ this as she was named one of the more superstitious ones by Carrie. The latter said that Charlotte would actually make the whistler go outside and turn three times before entering, to ward off bad luck.
These habits were not limited to being played backstage as Cameron himself admitted that he would occasionally try to make Dickon - who plays an expressionless butler - laugh during a performance just to mess with him and see if he would succeed.
“Cameron would make weird faces and gestures at me all the time, I even have holes in my cheeks from biting them to prevent me from bursting out laughing,” Dickon said.
The Addams Family centres on Wednesday, who has grown into a young woman. She has now got a boyfriend, Lucas, from a normal family, which doesn’t go down well with the Addams clan and she has to try and convince them to give her their blessings for marriage.
Catch The Addams Family from November 15 to December 3 at 8pm (Tuesday-Friday) or 2.30pm and 8pm (Saturday & Sunday) at the MES Theatre at Mediacorp. Tickets priced at S$165, S$135, S$95, S$65 (excluding booking fees) are now available on SISTIC.