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Nothing brings out the best, the worst and the downright ridiculous in people more than a good wedding. It’s an ideal premise, then, for an upbeat, laugh-a-minute musical about love, heartbreak and the skewed idea of living happily ever after.
The UK tour of The Wedding Singer has a lot to live up to in order to satisfy its excited audience, most of whom probably spent their formative years rooting for Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore whilst watching a VHS of the cult 90s rom-com on repeat.
Thankfully, this is one musical adaptation which hits all the right notes and strikes the perfect balance between delivering nostalgia by being true to the popular film and including enough stand-out songs to make it work in the theatre environment.
The Wedding Singer follows the story of Robbie Hart, a hopelessly romantic wedding singer who lives in his grandparents’ basement and ends up getting jilted at the alter by his beloved fiancé, Linda. Whilst playing gigs and trying to mend his broken heart, he meets and falls for an engaged young waitress named Julia.
Although the storyline is admittedly thin, The Wedding Singer still manages to deliver a fun-filled night of entertainment complete with striking choreography, a memorable new score and nostalgic 80s costumes.
West End star Jon Robyns doesn’t try to replicate Sandler’s portrayal of Robbie but still manages to have the entire audience rooting for him throughout. Ray Quinn is fantastic as Julia’s successful but sleazy fiancée Glen and doesn’t get as much stage time as his stellar performance demands.
He almost steals the show with his vocals and stage presence when performing All About the Green, an attitude-filled song about moneyed Wall Street thugs but the biggest cheer of the night is reserved for Robbie’s Grandmother (portrayed by Ruth Madoc) whose comedic timing and rapping skills (!) are spot-on.
The Wedding Singer is far from ground-breaking – but when it’s such good fun, who gives a damn?
The Wedding Singer, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, until Saturday 10 June, 7.30pm (2.30pm matinee performance on Saturday), 0131 529 6000.
Words: Amy Anderson