The Wedding Singer
Review by: Terry Rymer (NODA Rep East Dist 6
Director - Jon Gibbs
Musical Director- Rob Lockwood and Jon Gibbs
Choreographer - Jean Cator
Love this show…parts for all male and female actors of all ages and ability. So good to see some new young faces on stage for WLOG (many from Rising Stars).
So this vibrant colourful production, with an MD director and an innovative Choreographer, positively oozed musicality and movement. From the opening number we knew that we were in for a treat of a retro time gone by with many 80’s musical references (to quote the MD!). The energetic and flexible chorus showed great enthusiasm especially in the raunchy interpretations of ‘Pop’ and ‘Saturday Night’ to end Act one and the ‘All About Green’ to open Act two…these production numbers were real audience pleasers and costumes certainly fitted the mood, especially liked the green ties and sun glasses offsetting the business suits in ‘All about Green’. All this played in front of the stage-based orchestra who made the perfect backdrop for this show
Principle roles were well matched with an outstanding performance as Julia from (Daisy Tyrrell-Kent) who really excelled with fine vocals and suitable demeanour matched by her ‘rivals’ Linda (Emily Holt) who certainly warmed to her ‘hot’ performance with enthusiasm and Holly (Sam Fennelly), both showing the contrasting personalities underlying the attraction of Julia to her would be partner, The Wedding Singer Robbie (Stephen Brown), who was certainly torn between their conflicting influences and temptations. His tenor voice was strong throughout and matching Julia especially in their lovely final duet ‘Grow Old with You’. They showed style and a nicely, perhaps restrained, ‘agonies’ of young love and how to bring it all together. His rival in the love stakes, brash rich boy Glen (Neville Rowell), showed all the necessary traits to leave us in no doubt that he was the ‘baddy’ of the piece with his selfish and arrogant dealings with Julia and Robbie. We certainly hoped he would get his come uppance!
Robbie worked well with his band mates ‘boy’ George (Sam Howlett) and Sammy (John Hammond), they made the most of their cameos and songs especially in ‘Today You Are a Man’ and ‘Single’ with other male ensemble who again made the most of their parts. Special mention for ‘Bum’ Lee Peck who always makes me laugh!
Again to emphasise, the whole ensemble were to be congratulated on their total dedication throughout, and indeed in their assistance in manipulating the colourful ‘Rubik’s Cubes’ blocks used as settings for differing scenes, (How did they know which colours went where!?), perhaps not always obvious, but combined with minimal projection and lighting effects the atmosphere of locations was conveyed without compromising the continuity of the story. This was a brave decision which for this show worked well and we are left with an overriding feel good factor of a colourful and particularly strong company show with each and every department adding something to the party. Audience reaction should help swell the numbers. Well done.