MusicalReviewSouth West

The Wedding Singer – New Theatre, Cardiff

Writers: Chad Beguelin & Tim Herlihy
Music: Matthew Sklar
Director: Nick Winston
Reviewer: Jacqui Onions

Based on the film of the same name, The Wedding Singer takes us back to the 1980s and tells the story of Robbie Hart (Jon Robyns) – the singer that makes other people’s big days special while remaining unlucky in love himself. A predictable, but smile-inducing, romantic comedy storyline ensues with the inevitable bumps in the road leading to that all important happy ending.

The Wedding Singer brings to the stage a cast of real quality. Robyns along with his leading lady, Cassie Compton, as Julia Sullivan are warm and likeable as the star-crossed lovers, and are vocally stunning to boot. The strength of the script is its light-hearted comedy and this is delivered faultlessly by Ruth Madoc as Robbie’s eccentric grandmother, Rosie, and Samuel Holmes as the flamboyant keyboard player, George. Throw in Ray Quinn as Glen Gulia, the sleazy bad guy boyfriend and you have all the classic characters for your romantic comedy.

There is no let up for the ensemble. Director and choreographer, Nick Winston, has thrown one full on routine after another at them but they never put a foot wrong, giving a slick performance with boundless energy that is quite something to behold. The choreography is inventive and playful and fits well with the feel of the whole piece.

The set, designed by Francis O’Conor, looks great but noisily clunks on and off stage and can still be heard banging about in the wings during scenes, making for an irritating distraction from the wonderful performances happening on stage. Lighting, by Ben Bracknell, subtly enhances the set throughout and comes into its own during the song All About the Green. With cold, clinical colours and sharp edges it cleverly mirrors the greedy, cutthroat world being portrayed. There is also some fun use of projection and video content, designed by Jack Henry James, particularly the trailers for movies of the 1980s and the changing billboard adverts for products of the era. These add a pleasing touch of nostalgia to a story that would fit just as well set now as 30 years ago.

There is certainly nothing ground-breaking or unique about this show but if you are a fan of the film or just looking for some light-hearted entertainment then The Wedding Singer ticks the right boxes.

Runs until 4 March 2017 | Image: Contributed


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Light-hearted fun

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