As a big fan of 80’s nostalgia, I was really looking forward to The Wedding Singer at The Wolverhampton Grand, particularly as it starred Ruth Madoc who I fondly remember as Gladys Pugh from Hi de Hi and Ray Quinn who I remember as Brookside’s Anthony Murray.
I have seen also seen the film version so I correctly predicted that a fun, light hearted experience was in store.
What first drew my attention though, was the set. Even before the show actually began, the audience were treated to trailers from films that were big in the 1980’s, like The Goonies and Rambo! The very start of the show whetted our appetite even more with a very clever ‘Back to the Future’ nod! I found this very impressive.
The story is a simple one of two people who fall in love with each other, but are not together. One of which happens to sing at Weddings (Robbie Hart, played by Jon Robyns).
This was brought to life with many musical numbers, surprisingly not 80’s covers, but songs which at times cleverly drew themes, riffs or parallels from popular songs at the time. Credit should definitely be given to the talented Orchestra.
The sets, costumes, choreography and singing were spectacular and there were some hilarious moments which made for an incredibly good atmosphere in the audience. The second half was enhanced even more with homage to Mr T, Billy Idol, Tina Turner and Cyndi Lauper!
I was clearly not alone in my admiration for Ray Quinn and Ruth Madoc! Ruth’s natural warmth really shone and judging by her face at the end she absolutely loved performing her role of Rosie, Robbie Hart’s very lively and amusing Grandmother!
All of the performances were very professional and of a high standard, but my personal other favourites as well as a hilarious Samuel Holmes as George; were Mark Pearce and Ainsley Hall-Ricketts who mainly played the roles of David Fonda and Donnie, but also played many other roles as part of the ensemble, proving great versatility, Both had a stage presence about them and Ainsley’s dancing was outstanding!
I particularly enjoyed being transported to the 80’s and would particularly recommend this show if you are looking for a really fun night. The reaction from the audience at the end was genuine rapturous applause and it was fantastic to be absorbed in that kind of atmosphere!