Reviewed by Gemma Ingham
When you think of the late 90’s movie ‘The Wedding Singer’ you probably think about 80’s music, Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, cheesy jokes and wooden acting. I like the film but it’s not mind-blowing, and my husband really doesn’t like it. We didn’t have high expectations when we went to the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford to see the stage version of it and thought we’d be lightly entertained and that’d be it. Wrong, very wrong. I can safely say it’s probably up there in my top 3 favourite shows!
For anyone who hasn’t seen the film the main character is Robbie. As the title suggests Robbie is a wedding singer, and very good at it. He’s due to get married but his wife-to-be dumps him at the altar. How can you sing at weddings when you now hate them? Then comes Julia who Robbie knows from the wedding scene, he falls for her but she’s engaged to bad boy Glen.
The stage version does follow a similar story with the same central characters, but smaller roles are simplified or even written out making the story easier to follow. Of course, it is a musical so while it maintains a similar 80’s vibe the songs are written for the stage – and very good they are too! I was blown away by the quality of the songs, the singing, and especially the choreography that was so dynamic and original.
The main character Robbie is played by Jon Robyns and I have to say he is probably my favourite stage actor so far. He comes across as so genuine, naturally likeable and funny, and has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard (plus he played the guitar too which is a big bonus). My favourite song in the movie is ‘Somebody Kill Me’ as it creases me up everytime I hear it. I was hoping it would be included and that if it was, it would be done well. It was amazing, Jon was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed every single time he was on stage.
Julia was played by Cassie Compton, a very petite lady with a booming beautiful voice. The part of Holly was played by Tara Verloop which was a last minute change from Roxanna Pallett. Another favourite character of mine was Glen, Julia’s slimeball fiancé and in the nicest possible way Ray Quinn played this un-likeable part very well! Ruth Madoc played Robbie’s grandmother Rosie and injected even more laughs during her duet with Samuel Holmes who played George. The cast overall was extremely talented and an absolute joy to watch.
The Bradford Alhambra is really easy to access by public transport and very easy to get to by car with main car-parks nearby. The theatre has good facilities and the staff are very welcoming and helpful.
Tickets cost from £17.50 to £41 (booking fees may apply).
The Wedding Singer is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford from 25-29 April 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk or call the box office on 01274 432000.
Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | 01274 432000