Reviewed by Angela Paull
Last night we went to see The Wedding Singer at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. The Mayflower is situated in the city centre and surrounded by ample car parking (I use Grosvenor Place as it has a flat rate of £2 after 6pm). The Mayflower has a bright welcoming foyer, helpful staff, bars, snack kiosk and restaurant – everything you need for a good night out.
The Wedding Singer is a theatre adaptation of the popular 1998 film and it stays pretty true to the original. The tale of Robbie Hart (Jon Robyns), a wedding singer who gets jilted at his own wedding, and Julia Sullivan (Cassie Compton) the waitress engaged to the odious Glen Gulia. As Robbie supports Julia in planning her wedding it’s clear their friendship is blossoming into something more but will they get their happy ending together?
The lead actors are charmingly cute as the kind thoughtful romantics finding their way through the maze of love. Julia is supported by her slightly trashy pal Holly, played with verve and enthusiasm by Roxanne Pallett whilst Robbie has the ear of his irrepressible Grandma Rosie, played for laughs by Ruth Madoc.
The production is packed full of catchy tunes – in particular I loved “All About The Green” in which Ray Quinn was able to portray Glenn at his very sleaziest and “Single” a fabulously choreographed piece which showed off the comedic talents of all the male members of the cast.
There are a bunch of slapstick moments throughout though there were times when this cheesy comedy crossed the line for me into cringeworthiness. Also, given that it’s a story based in the mid 80’s, I felt the costume department could have really ramped up the 80’s look for extra effect.
That said, it’s a fun production which bounces along with tons of energy, great lighting and supported by some really comical electronic billboards (The Motorola phone that takes merely 10 hours to charge and has a whole 30 minutes call time). There’s enough nostalgia to satisfy those of us who lived in and loved the era but it just lacked a little of the movie’s gentle charm for me.
However, there was lots of laughter around the auditorium and an enthusiastic round of applause at the finale so if you’re after a production full of song, dance and happy ever you could do a lot worse than check out The Wedding Singer.
Tickets cost from £19.50 to £39.50 (booking fees may apply).
The Wedding Singer is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from 4-8 April 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.mayflower.org.uk or call the bo office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811