The Addams Family...The Musical Comedy– a contradiction in terms surely. You certainly don't expect Morticia to break into song and shimmy and strut her stuff Disney-style (albeit with the faintest tinge of rigor mortis; she’s an Addams after all!) centre stage, a band of carnivalesque sprits as her backing dancers.

And yet this is just the fare served up by the musical epic charting the vagaries of life as a morbid, alarmingly death-obsessed lot.

Whether due to its new incarnation as a now musical family, or by design, we are miles apart from the certifiable Addams of the comic or the movies. Here, they morph into a sedate (all things considered) household.

In this sequel of sorts, the once sadistic Wednesday is all grown up and has fallen head over heels for a straight-down-the-line varsity-jacket clad teen, Lucas. She has just agreed to marry him, threatening to cause an almighty rift with her mother.

When the Romeo turns up for dinner, his All-American parents in tow – all over Morticia’s protestations – mayhem follows.

Unfortunately not even powerhouse performances by the likes of Samantha Womack, who musters up all the aloofness and ice-queen mien befitting Morticia, can jumpstart the production. Although imaginative, the intriguing premise peters out quickly. Blame it on the lacklustre ensuing plot and asinine ballads about love conquering all, but by the end of Act One the whole shebang feels like it has run its (dragged-out) course.

The Adams Family is synonymous with near-death experiences, unsavoury (and borderline perverse) pranks and booby traps galore, not marital woes and odd Mills & Boon romance...Without all the trademark Addams trappings, it all falls flat.

Most disappointing of all is the fleeting appearance of Thing (a hand poking through a letter box) a few minutes into the show, only to vanish never to return again.

The cast do their darnedest to keep things ticking along and their boundless enthusiasm and breakneck energy are commendable. But not even Les Dennis’s delightfully wacky Fester can salvage the floundering show.

Tell-tale Addams quips occasionally break the monotony but only act as reminders of what’s woefully missing. The show runs at the Theatre Royal Bath until Saturday.