From the moment you take your seats at the Opera House for The Wedding Singer it’s clear that it’s time to throwback to the 80s. A big screen on the stage shows clips from some of the most iconic movies of the time (Back to the Future, Desperately Seeking Susan, Rambo) to get in you in the mood for the era of big hair and shoulder pads even before the show starts.
Based on the 1998 rom-com movie of the same name starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, The Wedding Singer has been turned into a musical for the stage and in doing so hasn’t lost any of its original charm, in fact it’s made it better.
The show takes you back to 1985 where wedding singer Robbie (Jon Robyn) is in love with love…that is until he gets jilted at the altar by his fiancé Linda (Hannah Jay-Allen). Step in Julia (Cassie Compton), a waitress with a heart of gold who dreams of her own wedding day and marrying the perfect man…except her boyfriend Glen (Ray Quinn) is a city slicker who is as slimy as his hair gel. When Robbie meets Julia it’s clear they won’t be just friends for long, especially if Robbie’s unconventional Grandma (Ruth Madoc) has anything to do with it!
West End star Robyns takes the lead here giving a hilarious performance as Robbie, which is no mean feat considering Hollywood comic actor Adam Sandler so famously made the part his own. Robyns has you rooting for Robbie to get the girl throughout and melts your heart with his vocals, especially in the adorable ‘Grow Old With You’.
Former X Factor finalist Cassie Compton also excels as the sweet natured Julia, striking up the perfect on stage partnership with Robyns. Their ‘will they won’t they’ plot line has you hooked due to the pairs instant likeability.
Other notable performances include Ray Quinn and Ruth Madoc as Glen and Grandma Rosie. Quinn is just brilliant as Wall Street wannabe Glen and milks everything out cocky, self-obsessed character. Just like his previous glowing achievements in shows like Dancing on Ice and X Factor, Quinn once again shines here giving 100% to his singing, dancing and acting, proving he’s a triple threat onstage and a joy to watch.
Ruth Madoc manages to shake off her Hi-Di-Hi days as she dons an American accent and bags of comic timing as Grandma Rosie, who refuses to act her age. It’s worth the ticket price alone just to witness Madoc rapping and even throwing in the odd twerk or two!
Whilst fans of the film version may expect The Wedding Singer to have a soundtrack of hit 80s tunes there’s not a hint of one on the musicals playlist, instead the score is full of original music from Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. It’s actually a clever move as by doing so the production steers clear of the ‘jukebox musical’ tag and delivers a soundtrack that still has the essence of the era with some side-splitting lyrics to boot. I defy anyone to leave the theatre without humming along to the catchy show anthem ‘It’s Your Wedding Day’.
With its high-energy choreography, neon loving set and nostalgic costumes (which even include a nod to Wonder Woman and Mr. T) The Wedding Singer ticks the ‘feel-good musical’ box in every category.
The show is guaranteed to leave you grinning from ear to ear and hunting out your fingerless lace gloves in the morning. Go see it, it’s like total awesome dude!
Opera House, Manchester until Saturday 20 May 2017.
Tickets start at £20 from here.
Manchester Opera House, 3 Quay St, M3 3HP
0844 871 3018