The Bohemians present The Wedding Singer
**** 4 Stars
The 1998 Adam Sandler movie “The Wedding Singer” made its transition to the stage in 2006 and tells the story of Robbie (played with charm by Fraser Jamieson) , who sings at weddings, his failed relationship with his former fiancée, and his romance with a new love, Julia (a big voice and talented Katherine Croan). Set amongst the culture and fashions of 1980’s America.
The musical, very much like the movie before it, is very light on script and content and relies more on the music (the film using pop hits) and the musical adaptation deploys Music by Matthew Sklar and Lyrics by Chad Beguelin who deliver real 80’s style tunes that feel authentic of the time period even if they do repeat just little to often over the course of the show.
Performance wise, the leads are in excellent form, “Jamieson” knows the role well as its not his first take on the character and that shines through. “Croan” is everything you could wish for in a Julia bringing warmth and charm in equal measure. Elsewhere the ever cute Ross MacPherson delivers a “George” which for once doesn’t descend into gay parody but instead gives comedy and vocal skill in equal measure ensuring George is taken to the hearts of the audience a truly winning performance of a character often failed in other productions of the show. Special mention must go to Cathy Geddie as “Rosie” who is just comedy acting brilliance at its best. Her old woman has them rolling in the isles and can also draw a tear when pathos is called for, a real must see performance indeed.
Turning to the Production Elements, The choreography from Dominic Lewis and Felicity Thomas is right on the money, their gift is to make every cast member shine through movement and they utilize the expanses of the King’s stage well. They also ensure the show feels fresh throughout whilst injection enough 80’s dance styles to keep the time placement perfectly in pitch with the show. A great choreographic achievement for Am dram.
The Score is delivered by a 12 strong on stage band under the direction of the shows MD Finlay Turnbull and is first class and filled with precision, especially from Angus Croudace on Drums and Thomas Lowe on percussion who together are the engine room of the show musically.
Director Malcolm Burnett has brought together all the elements and ensured the large cast all have there moments to shine and clearly knows how to produce large scale musical theatre, however where the show falls down is in the transitions, scene changes take just a little to long, with lingering moments in the semi darkness (The MD’s Relay screen lights the stage unintentionally) and still feels clunky and dissipates the pace of the show that the cast work hard to build. This might tighten naturally as the show beds into its run such is the nature of theatre.
Overall The Bohemians have delivered on the promise of another fun filled and musically pleasing production that’s delivers a solid starting point for 2020 production of “Shrek”, for now pop along to the King’s and bop the night away for a show and a decade that taste very well may have forgotten.
The Bohemians present, The Wedding Singer, Kings Theatre Edinburgh, Runs until Saturday 23rd March for Tickets go to: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/weddingsinger