We caught up with Uncle Fester – better known as Les Dennis – the other month when he popped into The Lowry with the rest of the cast of The Addams Family. Check out this Q&A to see what he’s most excited about on tour and if he’s looking forward to coming home to the North-West…
You’re currently on your 5th venue – how has the tour been so far?
The tour is doing really well, we opened the UK premiere in Edinburgh at Easter, and it’s gone so well. Every audience and every theatre we’ve gone to are loving it, and word of mouth is building. It’s also becoming a cult in the sense that the audience members are coming dressed as characters of the show – so yeah, it’s going fantastically well – so much better than we could have hoped for!
How does working in both Television and Theatre differ for you?
I love the fact that I get to do both – I was over the water at Coronation Street playing Michael Rodwell for two and a half years, and that was a gift and a lovely time. I love the fact that I get the chance to do so many different things, and theatre is one of the things I love the most. Because you get that direct response. It’s probably the hardest work, but it’s wonderful to hear the audience reactions we get as an ensemble. It really is incredible.
You’ve mentioned being on stage can be quite challenging, but what is the most rewarding part of it?
The most rewarding thing for me is being part of the company. We all get on so well, always having a laugh and we’re sort of like nomads – travelling from one venue to the next and then we meet up in the theatre and socialise afterwards. It’s lovely to be part of the company and interact with those people. We have a great cast here.
You’ve mainly been touring the Midlands/the South of England – are you looking forward to coming back home to the North West?
I’m really looking forward to coming to The Lowry – because it means I’m based at home for two weeks and I think at that point I’ll be ready to be home! But also I’m looking forward to the Northern audiences, I think they will really love it. I’m sure people will come across from all over Cheshire, Manchester and hopefully Liverpool – and I think there’ll be a trip from Corrie on the opening night, as I know my mates can’t wait to see it, and they’ll also get to see me go from the dead to the undead!
The Addams Family is a timeless classic, but would you say it’s suitable for all ages?
I think it’s absolutely suitable for all ages – I have a little boy who’s only 6 and he loves it! Although obviously older audiences will be more familiar with the original TV series – even right from the moment the orchestra strikes up, the audience are already clicking along! And kids these days are used to watching films such as Hotel Transylvania which has that slightly dark, ghoulish feel about it, so I really think it will appeal to all ages. Carrie (Fletcher) and Oliver (Ormson) really bring that young vibe to the show too. We’ve got everything for all ages right across the board, and I think that the humour is very smart and funny, but also very silly.
And lastly – what has been your highlight of the tour so far?
I’ve enjoyed every venue we’ve gone to so far. It was lovely to open the show completely, when you’re playing a character and not taking the role over from someone else – it was a very exciting thing to do. Wimbledon was our UK press night and that was exciting as well. We’ve got so much to look forward to and I’m particularly looking forward to coming home too!
The Addams Family is at The Lowry from 29 August – 9 September. Tickets available here.