Words cannot really describe an evening at The Wedding Reception. Nevertheless, I will try and express here what an excellent way to spend an evening this is – it began with an explosion of feathers and ended with the entire audience dancing around the room. It is not often I find myself crying with laughter, but this evening there were several times when I just couldn’t hold it all in.
From the moment you step into the bar, cast members are mingling; whether it’s the mother-of-the-bride making sure you’ve kept the reception a secret, or the best man taking bets on how long the groom’s speech will be, you are immediately drawn into the show. Their open and welcoming conversation immediately puts you at ease and, as you enter the dining space, you can’t help but chat to your new ‘family’ on your table. Whether we got lucky, I can’t say, but we were part of an amazing audience, and a lovely table of people, which really helped us to enjoy the experience.
The performance was nicely split into two parts, the first between your starter and main course, the second between your main and dessert, with the cast remaining in character throughout the meals (including in the toilets where I bumped into the ‘blushing bride’). To be honest, the food wasn’t anything to write home about, but it served a purpose and set the scene; the performance more than made up for it not being worthy of Master Chef.
With all four cast members playing two characters each, it’s easy to worry that performances will be blurred and it would be confusing to follow, but the entire cast was exceptionally strong ensuring that each of their characters was distinct in both their accent, clothing and body language; an impressive feat for all. In all fairness, I can’t say a bad thing about the cast, they continuously amazed with their outstanding & hilarious performances. Whether it be mother-of-the-bride, Lynne, constantly feeding the audience biscuits and nuts, best man Ricky running around in his underpants, Will’s mum belting out “Rain On My Parade” (and wow did she sing it well) through to wedding planner Marvin’s performance as Sir Elton Con during our main course, every single moment was performed to perfection.
What I found truly amazing was the ease with which the cast took their cues from audience members, interacting with us, asking us questions, talking to us about how we know the bride and groom etc. A lot of the performance was unscripted but just flew off their tongues as though they knew in advance what people were going to say.
So, in conclusion, if you want an incredibly fun, hilarious and downright wonderful night out then book tickets to see the Wedding Reception ASAP, whether that be in London or when it moves to Edinburgh or Brighton Fringe. It was one of the best night’s out I’ve had in ages and I would thoroughly recommend it. If you’re not up and dancing by the end of the night, then there is definitely something wrong with you!
Review by Cat Lamin
The basic premise of The Wedding Reception is that the audience are guests at, yes, a wedding reception.
The actors perform around and with the audience, making it a fully immersive experience – and as interactive as individual people want it to be. From arrival, through to seating, eating and dancing, the show is a classic take on an English wedding reception.
The comedy, drama, tensions and fun – and love!
Rebecca Norris as Lynne/Marge
James Heatlie as Ricky/Ray
Leonie Hill as Kate/Val/Vicky
Otis Waby as Will/Marvin