The Wedding Singer Had us Partying Like it was 1985 at Venue Cymru
It was a great first night as Welsh musical theatre star and Eurovision hopeful Lucie Jones took to the stage of The Wedding Singer, (the hilarious musical based on the hit film Adam Sandler film) when the show opened at Venue Cymru in Llandudno last night
Lucie joined the show in Aberdeen and has performed the role of Holly for a limited six-week run, her week at Venue Cyrmu will be her last week in the role. A former X-Factor finalist, Lucie’s theatre credits include Cosette in the West End production of Les Misérables, also appearing in the 25th-anniversary concert of Les Misérables at the O2 Arena, London.
She played Kelly in The Prodigals at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe, was cast as Meat in the We Will Rock You World Arena Tour and originated the role of Victoria in the world premiere of American Psycho the musical, at London’s Almeida Theatre. She also performed the lead role of Molly Jensen in Ghost The Musical’s Asia tour.
We were taken back to 1985, a time when hair was huge, greed was good and rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart (John Robyns) was New Jersey’s favourite wedding singer. When his own fiancée dumps him at the altar a seriously bummed out Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own.
Can sweet natured Julia (Cassie Compton) and her best friend Holly (Lucie Jones) lure Robbie out of the dumpster and back into the limelight? Or is he going to see her head off down the aisle with Wall Street bad boy Glen? Only Grandma Rosie (Ruth Madoc) seems to be able to see that Robbie and Julia are the couple that is meant to be.
The first thing that struck me before the show even started was the set, there is a screen above the stage that was showing classic 80s movie trailers including, Rambo, Weird Science and Back to the Future. This screen would also be used to great effect throughout the show for poster boards and several animations to bring the scenes to life.
Talking of the set, during the performance the set was moved around and changed to produce the many locations that the story took us and all done seamlessly to bring the world of The Wedding Singer to life. We did have a moment in the second half when the curtain came down and the house lights went up and we were told, “there are some technical difficulties”, but thankfully these were sorted in a matter of minutes and the show continued.
Starring alongside Lucie is West End and Musical Theatre star Jon Robyns who plays Robbie Hart, Jon certainly put on a great performance throughout the show and his vocals came across perfectly throughout the show. Most recently Jon starred in Legally Blonde as Emmett Forrest and in Sister Act as Eddie Souther; other theatre credits include Enjolras in Les Misérables, Spamalot, Memphis and Avenue Q.
Along with Jon was British singer-songwriter Ray Quinn as Glen, a character that Ray played brilliantly, a character that I found myself loving to hate his character as he had only one real passion in life, money! But his scenes were great to watch.
Ray Quinn shot to fame as the runner-up in ITV1’s The X Factor in 2006 and as a champion of Dancing on Ice in 2009. In 2014 he won Dancing on Ice: Champion of Champions. His theatre credits include Danny Zuko in Grease (West End), Dirty Dancing (West End) and Legally Blonde (UK Tour).
West End leading lady and X Factor finalist Cassie Compton played Julia, I absolutely loved her performance, she was a pure joy to watch and listen to on the stage at Venue Cymru, she has an on stage presence that comes across as pure talent.
My surprise for the night was seeing comedy veteran Ruth Madoc starring as Grandma Rosie, what a character, rather rude and very funny, Ruth has brought the character to life on the stage, I found myself laughing with Ruth on several occasions and her Rap was just brilliantly funny and catchy. Ruth became a household name in the Eighties when she played Gladys Pugh in BBC comedy series Hi-De-Hi! More recently we’ve seen her on screen in ITV’s Benidorm, Mount Pleasant (Sky) and Stella (Sky).
The Wedding Singer 2017 UK Tour is Directed and Choreographed by Nick Winston, it’s all comes together beautifully, it’s a show that not only has you laughing a lot, but you also find yourself tapping your toes to the music and having a fun night out.
The Wedding Singer is playing from the 25th – 29th July at Venue Cymru, Llandudno. Visit the website, venuecymru.co.uk, or call the Box Office 01492 872000 to book your tickets.