Interview: 'He's Terminally Delightful!' Sam Buttery on Playing Uncle Fester in THE ADDAMS FAMILY MUSICAL

'This is its first time in the West End and I don't think it will be its last. Whatever life it does have, I’d like to be part of it.'

By: Feb. 12, 2024
Interview: 'He's Terminally Delightful!' Sam Buttery on Playing Uncle Fester in THE ADDAMS FAMILY MUSICAL

The Addams Family - The Musical Comedy in Concert will be playing at the London Palladium on 12 and 13 February. Starring Michelle Visage and Morticia and Ramin Karimloo as Gomez, the show follows Wednesday Addams and her experiences falling in love for the first time.

Recently, we had the chance to talk with Sam Buttery, who is taking on the role of Uncle Fester. We discussed how they first got started in the world of theatre, why they are a fan of The Addams Family and how rehearsals have been going.


How did you first get started in the world of theatre?

I've always loved musicals, from when I was really young - they were a real escape for me. I used to have a little Walkman CD player and I'd make my own playlists on the CDs of all of my favourite musicals, and I've listen to them every night and just think, “Oh God, one day, hopefully you’ll be able to do it!” Being a queer person in a small town, that was a real lifeline for me. So I got into musicals then.

But my first job was Taboo, the Boy George musical. And I got into that because I met Boy George at an art gallery, at a screening of his film, and he said, “Do you want to come and audition for Taboo?” And then I auditioned for that. Then I got an agent from that and just started working!

So had you been a fan of The Addams Family movie and/or musical before joining the show?

Yeah, the musical! We had this trampoline out in the garden, this really big one. I used to listen to the soundtrack while jumping on that. So I did like The Addams Family. It's a great show!

Interview: 'He's Terminally Delightful!' Sam Buttery on Playing Uncle Fester in THE ADDAMS FAMILY MUSICAL
Sam and the cast in rehearsal
Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

And what has it been like taking on the role of Uncle Fester?

It's been lovely! He's really sweet as a character. There's an illustration by Charles Addams with Uncle Fester at the cinema, all the other audience are really sad and crying - something really terrible is happening. And Fester’s just sat there smiling, looking at the screen. I just think that's a really lovely thing about Fester - he's terminally delightful! [Laughs] But he gets really excited over really horrible things. He's actually really sweet and cute, but it's just about really dark things. And that's why I love Fester.

Can you tell us a bit about Fester’s role in the show?

Yeah! I'd say that Fester’s a bit of a Cupid! He orchestrates the love between all the other characters. His main aim is to make sure everybody finds love and, most importantly, I think, that he finds his love too.

What has the rehearsal process been like so far?

Really good! I've made a promise to myself that I'm not going to get worried about it. I'm quite chilled about it, to be fair. The team has done it before, so they are very controlled and in charge - I feel like we're in safe hands. We're going to have to do whether we want to or not. The contracts have been signed! 

[Laughs] No escape now!

It could be dissociation, but we'll wait and see! [Laughs]

Do you have any favourite scenes or songs either to watch or perform in?

I really like “Full Disclosure” at the end of Act One, and the banquet scene - that's really fun. Yesterday I got to watch Kara [Lane] do Alice, where she has a breakdown and drinks from the chalice, and that was really, really good!

What has it been like working with all of these incredible people in the cast?

Oh, it's so good! Everyone's just really right for their parts. It's gelling really well. I feel really comfortable here, I feel really happy to be doing it. I wish that it wasn't just two days, three shows! And I really hope that the show does have a life because it deserves it. This is its first time in the West End and I don't think it will be its last. Whatever life it does have, I’d like to be part of it. But you never know!

Has it been a bit strange having it be just a concert and not the full version? 

I mean, I don't have anything to compare it to! No, it's good. It's the full show without the set. I don't notice any of that anyway - I'm too worried about trying to not fall over. [Laughs] I don't need to be concerned with set, or anyone else for that matter!

Interview: 'He's Terminally Delightful!' Sam Buttery on Playing Uncle Fester in THE ADDAMS FAMILY MUSICAL
Sam and the cast in rehearsal
Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

So what do you think has made The Addams Family musical so popular for so long? Why have you been a fan of it?

I think it's the abnormalness because I don't know what the hell normal is anyway! Normal for me is very different from normal for you. But I feel like it's their eccentricity. They're kooky and they're spooky. That draws me to them. And I suppose that's the thing because I've always felt like I was a bit strange and a bit different. And come on, look at me, I look like Uncle Fester! It was just waiting to happen.

What do you hope audiences take away from The Addams Family?

It's very cheesy, but I will say this. I don’t necessarily have any god, but I try and live my life by, “What's the most loving thing to do?” So what I want the audience to take from it is follow in love in everything you do, because it really is the most important thing. 

Do you have a favourite line from the show?

Whichever one I learn the most comfortably will be my favourite! [Laughs]

And finally, how would you describe The Addams Family: The Musical Comedy in one word?

Bonkers!


The Addams Family: The Musical Comedy Live in Concert runs on 12 and 13 February at the London Palladium.

Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

 




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