THE WEDDING SINGER
Musical Direction by
Region 7 - Doreen Grierson
The Theatre Royal, Margate dates from 1787 and altered in 1874 to the splendid Victorian Grade 2 listed building we see today. In stark contrast The Wedding Singer is set in 1985 and based on the 90’s movie of the same name.
With a rather weak story plot, but albeit colourful, stage version, we find Robbie Hart, a would-be rock star, is a popular wedding singer and fronts a band at wedding parties. His fiancée, Linda, breaks his heart by jilting him at the altar. He compensates by ruining other wedding parties but then a waitress, Julia Sullivan, catches his eye although she already has a boyfriend, Wall Street wonder boy Glenn Gulia.
With the large cast and the minimal set, the stage did look overcrowded at times, especially with the band placed at the back, but having said that, good use was made of the whole area and the auditorium. There were a few problems with the sound/mics but this didn’t detract overall. Lighting was effective and costumes were as near to the 80’s era as I can remember – short skirts and shoulder pads.
Choreography by Beckie Clark and Lauren Friday was well thought out and executed by an enthusiastic young cast. The proficient on-stage band led by Andrew Hedges brought that all-important live element to the show. Although the ensemble singing was good, I did find that the 80’s style music created quite a harsh sound.
Leading man, Jack Jenkins (Robbie) showed impressive skills from singing, playing the guitar, dancing and good comedy acting. He played opposite Maisie Waller who was excellent in her portrayal of Julia Sullivan. Their singing voices complimented each other, especially in Come Out Of The Dumpster. Robbie’s fiancée Linda, played by Georgina Jones, was both sassy and selfish. Sammy (Dean Little) and George (Daniel Shepherd) were perfect band/soul mates who supported Robbie through his romantic turmoil. Drayson Goldfinch plays the worst ever boyfriend Glen Gulia who is more interested in financial gain than his forthcoming marriage. Molly Knight (Holly) showed excellent vocal skills and an attitude to match whilst Grandma Rosie (Caroline Pankhurst) performed Move That Thing with hilarity and gusto.
The supporting principals and the rest of the ensemble (for some, I noticed, it was their first time on stage or with Act 1) gave excellent strong performances, making the whole show exuberant and fun for both cast and audience. All in all, a fast paced musical comedy with sharp one-liners and energetic dance routines, which all helped to make this a feel good production. Well done to Beckie and her team.