A musical adaptation of the hit 1997 film of the same name, The Wedding Singer is an enjoyable show, with catchy and entertaining musical numbers dotted throughout. That said, the musical tends to drag at times where the film does not; in part, this is down the need to shoehorn in a musical number for every supporting character. Really, it’s needless, since the show has a charming enough tale of wedding singer Robbie Hart and waitress Julia Sullivan realising they’re right for one another and eventually coming together.
Cast and crew have done an admirable job with this touring version of the show; set and props all worked seamlessly, lighting was good and though the music sometimes drowned out the vocals, it wasn’t a major issue. The chorus were all bright and engaged, and it was good to see almost everyone get a turn at a speaking role, something that is often a rarity.
In a major supporting role, Ray Quinn plays the love rat well enough, and Roxanne Pallett is fun as Holly, Julia’s outlandish but supportive best friend. However, they are easily outshone by Jon Robyns and Cassie Compton as Robbie and Julia, respectively. Compton is warm, sweet, and charming; her singing voice is delightful and she really makes the audience empathise with her character. It is Robyns, however, that really lifts The Wedding Singer from being an average musical to being a thoroughly enjoyable show.
His vocals are spot on, his dancing impeccable and his comedic timing is perfect. He is completely captivating and because of that, I found that the energy seemed to drop and the show dragged when he wasn’t on stage. Special mention must go to his performance of ‘Casualty of Love’ which really made me laugh out loud and wish for a reprise.
As Robbie’s bandmates and friends, Ashley Emerson and Samuel Holmes were perfectly cast, and Holmes in particular showed some fine comedy work. As a result, the number ‘Single,’ where all three men are at a bar praising the merits of being without love, was a standout moment, and the choreography in particular was a real highlight.
With anyone else in the central role, The Wedding Singer might not be as good, but it’s worth watching just for Robyn’s performance. There are additional touches, such as the parade of Vegas impersonators, and Ruth Madoc as Rosie, Robbie’s Grandma, that make the show a good night out if you’re looking for something that’s easy going and fun to watch.