Based on the 1998 film starring Adam Sandler, the eighties is well and truly brought to life in this romantic comedy that has been adapted for the stage.
The tale of the unlucky in love wedding singer that makes a living singing romantic numbers with his band on couple’s wedding days is vibrant, high-energy and incredibly animated. Basking in eighties glory, the songs are melodramatic, the costumes are colourful and the heat is turned right up. When the singer Robbie Hart is jilted at the altar, he falls desperately in love with waitress Julia who is engaged to be married to the arrogant wall street businessman Glen. However, Robbie attempts to win her heart with his charming nature and beautiful music.
Leading the cast is Jon Robyns as Robbie, who brings his sweet persona to the stage. He creates an endearing character that is instantly likeable and boasts excellent talent in his vocals, characterisation and eighties dance moves. His love interest Julia is played by young Cassie Compton who recently stepped into the role and does a fine job. She portrays the girl-next-door persona of the role superbly, and her vocals range from beautifully sweet to highly powerful, creating some of the most moving numbers in the show. Julia’s love interest Glen is played by former X-Factor star Ray Quinn who impresses as the sleazy conceited young man. Quinn’s characterisation is tremendous as his stage presence is entirely commanding as he oozes swagger.
Bursting with catchy pop tunes, it is a score that is entirely cheesy but incredibly fitting for the era. This is mirrored by the electric choreography that is performed well by the cast which brings a lot of radiance to the piece – a particular highlight being the performance of Single by the guys as they’re drinking at the bar. However, I did question elements of the choreographic choices as the overly sexual movement felt rather out of place. There were a few scenes that almost felt too random and uncomfortable to watch.
Director Nick Winston has created a pacy and punchy piece of theatre, as the whole production maintains a strong rhythm throughout. This sadly is let down by the set, as although visually it is superb, it doesn’t transition well and frequent clunking noises backstage distracted from the production.
The Wedding Singer is an amusing musical that will transport you back to the eighties through its dynamic choreography, catchy tunes and flamboyant costumes – it’s an energetic production that captures the essence of the smash-hit film well.