Its 1985, the decade (and exact year) that I was born into that The Wedding Singer is set. I have no recollection of the era but from my favourite movies: Ghostbusters, The Goonies, When Harry Met Sally, Three Men and a Baby, Big Business (so many to choose from not even considering those that were set in such a time) it was a decade I so wanted to live in (well and New York in general it seems) and last night it’s like my wishes had come true.
The Wedding Singer is one of my all-time favourite movies; it has two of my favourite actors (Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore), incredible costumes, the best music, combinations of lovable, relatable and hateable characters and a storyline that takes you through the emotions- it’s the ultimate feel good movie. I didn’t even know it had been transformed into a musical but when I saw it had come to Bristol I had to go and see it. And I am so glad that I did because it is now one of my all-time favourite musicals as well for all the same reasons.
If you’re familiar with the movie (though many of last night’s attendees were not!), you’ll know the storyline which has changed very little and they’ve weaved in some of those pinnacle phrases and comments too for your pleasure. They’ve also included the original pieces ‘Somebody Kill Me’ and ‘Grow Old With You’ which is performed brilliantly by Jon Robyns, our Robbie Hart. But in place of the 80s hits there is a new musical composition for the stage which I think suits it more and is just as catchy as your favourite hits; I especially loved ‘It’s Your Wedding Day’ and ‘Saturday Night in the City’.
The show is nothing of course without its cast; and the romantic chemistry on stage between Robbie Hart (Jon Robyns) and Julia Sullivan (Cassie Compton) – whose voice by the way, is stunning!- is palpable, it gives you the sense that anything is possible. Ray Quinn as Glen Gulia was totally surprising, I didn’t know if he could be Glen Gulia, the philandering Wall Street hotshot. Admittedly I’ve seen him in very little but when did he get so badass?! It’s really true what they say; NEVER judge a book by its cover. He is an all-rounder entertainer that has the voice, movies and acting ability; the ultimate package. Another shocker was Roxanne Pallett who wowed as the vivacious Holly who can really hit those high notes! Can she be my best friend too? I was also super pleased to see Samuel Holmes back at Bristol as affable George; we had a taste of Samuel at this year’s Pantomime as Dandini whose ability to bring in the effortless comedic value is intrinsic to such a show. I also want to mention the audience favourite Ruth Madoc as Robbie’s Grandmother Rosie who holds the award for character with the element of comedic surprise- some may find her choice words offensive but not with Ruth’s deliverance, she’s the cheeky Grandmother we all wish we had. The entire cast as a collective were incredible.
It’s a show that has the awesome choreography and musical composition that will take you through the emotions but mostly leave you feeling energised, happy and relaxed; gotta love the 80s for that vibe. Whether you’ve seen it or not this is a great night out musical; make it a girl’s night, take your partner, whomever, just make sure you see it, I’m sure you’ll love it just as much.