THE theatrical adaptation of 90s classic rom-com, The Wedding Singer, arrived at The Opera House in Manchester last night. Our entertainment reporter, Alicia Boukersi was there to see what the evening had to offer…
The Wedding Singer is originally an American romantic comedy written by Tim Herlihy and directed by Frank Coraci. The story revolves around wedding-singer Robbie, his failed relationship with his former fiancée, and his romance with waitress Julia. The film stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore as the iconic couple, but in the latest theatrical adaption, Jon Robyns and Cassie Compton take over the roles.
Directed by award-winning Nick Winston the remake is delivered by a talented cast, armed with outstanding vocals, catchy songs and enough witty jokes to keep the audience enthralled.
— Fay Hopwood (@fay_hopwood) May 15, 2017
Each cast member poses as a triple threat, able to effortlessly switch from singing, dancing and acting which makes the performance nothing less than intensely watchable.
West End star Jon Robyns takes centre stage as Robbie and is pervasive throughout, impressing the audience with his versatility. Robyns is able to show the vulnerability of the character openly, bringing us up and down with his ever-changing mood.
With the performance of Drew Barrymore to live up to, Cassie Compton had the pressure on her shoulders. She didn’t disappoint; her distinctly soulful voice making her a great choice to play the girl-next-door heroine Julia.
X Factor runner-up Ray Quinn plays the money obsessed, cocky antagonist Glenn Guglia- one of the standout characters from both the film and musical.
Quinn is able to summon up enough brazenness to have half the women in the audience hating him and the others drooling. His Act Two solo performance of ‘All About the Green’ is a masterpiece in itself.
Ruth Madoc plays Robbie’s grandma Rosie, and is one of the funniest characters. With her tongue firmly in cheek and a knowing wink to the audience, Madoc provides knowing laughs, raps, and gives us the golden line of, “I’d already slept with eight men. That was a lot back then; it’d be like two hundred today”.
Undeniably, it’s The Wedding Singer’s tracklist that makes it so enjoyable to watch. The songs, composed by Matthew Sklar and lyricist Chad Beguelin are instantly captivating and have the audience nodding their heads in tune. The sound is so eighties, it feels like you’ve been transported back to Boy George’s heyday.
Samuel Holmes, who plays Robbie’s flamboyant friend George, echoes this thought- his style being so similar to the 80s celeb, it’s eerie. Meanwhile Ashley Emerson’s dramatisation of Sammy is the opposite, so warped in masculinity it can only be deemed comical.
Roxanne Pallett plays Holly, Julia’s friend who is equally trashy as she is kind-hearted. Rocking a bright pink wig and high heels throughout the show, it’s her fervent confidence that makes her so memorable.
It’s hard for me to criticize such a faultless performance. Even when little slip-ups occurred, the cast persevered. In fact, Ruth Madoc forgetting where the stage door was became one of the funniest moments, though it was accidental.
— BackStageAccess (@backstageacc) May 15, 2017
The atmosphere throughout the musical was full of fun and energy, the songs and choreography were genial, and even the outfits were masterfully chosen.
Regardless of whether you were born in the eighties or you’re a millennial like me, you’re sure to love The Wedding Singer and leave with a song stuck in your head for days.