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The Comedy of Errors

Theatre review: The Wedding Singer

11 May 17 words: Francoise Bonner

A feel good 80s trash-glamour salute to the Adam Sandler film

John Robyns as Robbie in the Wedding Singer

Jon Robyns as Robbie in the Wedding Singer

“Then tell me, future boy, who’s President of the United States in 1985?”

Okay, that may be a quote from the wrong film but the year is spot on. It’s 1985, the first Back to the Future film is “coming soon to a movie theatre near you” (insert over excitable American accent) as is Cocoon, if anyone remembers that film?! And Robbie Hart is about to marry the love of his life, or so he thinks!

Based on the 1998 Adam Sandler film of the same name, The Wedding Singer transports us back to the decade of greed, where actors became presidents and the bigger and crazier the hair, the better! Big ups to all those Flock of Seagulls fans out there!

An original score, except for two of Sandler’s own songs from the film, the music and choreography has been creatively crafted to bring the audience into the ‘80’s. Homage to Blondie, Culture Club and Michael Jackson’s Thriller can be seen and heard through various numbers, including the stand-out song, Single, where we see the boys hilariously drowning their sorrows in a local bar.

John Robyns as Robbie in the Wedding Singer

Jon Robyns as Robbie in the Wedding Singer

Jon Robyns portrays Robbie Hart with as much enthusiasm and personality as the part demands. Robyns’ singing and dancing is strong, keeping him the focus when he’s on stage. Ex Brookside and 2006’s X Factor runner up, Ray Quinn, really hit the mark as Glen Gulia. Along with Robyns and Hi-de-Hi’s Ruth Madoc, he came across as the most natural on stage, great voice, on point dancing and his believable American accent.

Madoc was hilarious playing Hart’s grandmother who often shares a little more information than any Grandmother should; her voice was outstanding.

Cassie Compton, another previous X Factor contender, shone through with her beautiful singing voice, whilst understudies, Tara Verloop and Hannah Jay-Allan did excellently stepping into two of the main roles.

The leads were all backed up perfectly by the ensemble, Ashley Emerson and Samuel Holmes, playing Hart’s best friends and bandmates, brought in some great one-liners. The energy and passion on stage was clear and it really looked like everyone was having a lot of fun.

Even if you don’t know the film, this stage adaptation is a nice nostalgic trip down memory lane. The set and costumes ooze that ‘80’s over the top trash-glamour, and the appearances of some well-known TV figures add to the fun and feel-good factor.

The reception from the audience felt positive, there was a lot of laughter throughout and in the end, people left the theatre with big smiles on their faces.

The Wedding Singer plays at Nottingham's Theatre Royal until Saturday 13 May 2017.

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