There seems to be a flood of musicals hitting the theatre these days which are adapted from hit films and The Wedding Singer, now showing at Swansea Grand Theatre, is one of the latest to follow this trend.
The 1998 Rom Com, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore is certainly a hard act to follow but thankfully the stage adaptation holds its own with an original score, some new scenes and some hilarious (and often crude) one liners.
Set in 1985, the plot revolves around the woes of romantic wedding singer Robbie Hart (Jon Robyns), who is left jilted at the alter only to find solace and comfort from the loveable but engaged waitress Julia (Cassie Comptom).
Everyone else can see the love blossoming between Robbie and Julia but will they realise it before its too late? Will Julia end up with the rich, shallow and smooth talking Glen (Ray Quinn) and end up as Mrs Julia Goolia or will love conquer all?!
The musical score plays homage to the sounds of the eighties and has some catchy pieces but overall the 80s vibe of the film is not as pronounced as it could have been and it misses out by not featuring some of the classic 80s tunes.
Saying that, the songs ‘All About the Green’ and ‘Single’ are particularly noteworthy for both their musical prowess and their dance routines, with the later featuring some pretty nifty footwork. The duet with Robyns and Comptom, ‘If I told You’ was also particularly heartwarming, so much so you almost forgot you were watching a cheesy tongue in cheek musical.
The star cast, despite some dubious american accents, were just that – Stars. They really were all fantastic and the vocal performances of Robyns, Comptom and Quinn were nothing short of outstanding.
Robyns who has been in supporting roles on the West End for years, rightfully deserved his leading man role and did not disappoint. It was as if the role was written for him. Similarly Quinn showed himself as a born performer, with both his musical talent and effortless dance moves.
Ruth Madoc ensured that she shone in every opportunity she had in her role as Grandma, with her comedic timing and side-splitting rapping rendition. She showed she’s still got it and can certainly shake her thing.
There were also stellar performances from the fellow band mates; Boy George look alike (Samuel Holmes) and Sammy ‘Stupid’ (Ashley Emerson) and Julia’s best friend Holly (Stephanie Clift) all backed by a very talented ensemble.
There was plenty of comedy and laugh out load moments throughout. The ‘Kill Me Please’ from the original film written by Sandler was just as funny as in the film and the additional comic tunes from the notes from Linda and Grandma were genius.
If you like musicals with an element of pantomime like humour and plenty of sexual innuendos then you’ll be sure to love the Wedding Singer, as it really is a hoot!
The Wedding Singer is showing at the Swansea Grand Theatre from 19th – 21st September
For more information visit: www.swansea.gov.uk
Tickets £26.50 – £45.50
* All photos credited to Darren Bell, supplied by Swansea Grand Theatre