THE WEDDING SINGER
Springers at the Cramphorn Theatre
A frothy movie spin-off from Springers, in the close-up and personal surroundings of the Cramphorn.
Robbie and Julia – the Danny and Sandy of the 80s – are charmingly played as boy and girl next door by Jon Newman and Amy Serin Leslie. They're surrounded by larger – and louder – than life characters, from the boys in Robbie's band to the mutants at table nine. A strong team, directed by Maz Clarke and Mat Smith, includes Helen Arber as cousin Holly, Dan Schultz as [Boy] George, Pete Spilling as the Wall Street man Glen, Ian Pavelin as lead guitar Sammy, with his Michael Jackson hair, and Deborah Anderson having a ball as Rosie, Robbie's outrageous Gran.
The numbers which favour musical theatre over pale 80s pastiche succeed best: Single, All About The Green. The six piece band, MD Ian Myers on keys, are on stage behind what could be the wedding venue's dance floor. Good to see them, but they're not a show band, not actor musicians, and while they are fine musically, they do little visually to enhance the moods of the show...
The inevitable back projection has the view from Il Carousel, some nice animations, and Space Invaders during the interval.
Having the audience just feet away could have been a chance to add a little subtlety to vocals and interpretations. But the whole thing seems relentlessly in-your-face, not helped the night I saw it by some poor sound.
A good “night-out” musical for audiences who have friends in the company, or fond memories of the film, or indeed of the 80s, with those cumbersome cell phones and parachute pants.