Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

The Wedding Singer

“Kevin Clifton is highly watchable”

‘Based on the film starring Adam Sandler’ isn’t the most appealing marketing tagline. However, his 1998 romantic comedy (set in the 1980s) The Wedding Singer remains a film that’s widely liked, in part due to the delightful Drew Barrymore.

Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin’s musical adaptation is, at its best, throwaway fun. The geek-chic persona of Kevin Clifton, one of Strictly Come Dancing’s most successful professional dancers, is well suited to Robbie Hart (sans Sandler’s mullet), the nice Jersey boy disillusioned by love when jilted at his own wedding.

Clifton is a highly watchable performer in possession of a decent singing voice. Rhiannon Chesterman has a pleasant stage presence as love interest Julia but adopts an affected squeaky speaking voice, and there isn’t much chemistry between them.

Director/choreographer Nick Winston’s cartoonish staging has no room for subtlety in the barn-like Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre where the only way to combat the thin acoustics is by making everything as loud as possible.

The half-hearted attempt at Reagan-era design is a real low point, tacky but not in a knowingly ironic way. More often than not, the outfits belong to an imaginary era of sartorial disasters – the bride’s dress at the opening wedding is a particular horror.

The cast’s energy levels can’t be faulted and Sandra Dickinson is particularly game as a rapping and cartwheel-turning Grandma. Many will have a whale of a time but for others, it’s a show with too many E numbers, culminating in a sugar rush and bit of a headache.

Related to this Review

The Wedding SingerThe Wedding Singer

Production Details
Production nameThe Wedding Singer
VenueTroubadour Wembley Park Theatre
StartsJanuary 30, 2020
EndsMarch 1, 2020
Running time2hrs 30mins
ComposerMatthew Sklar
Book writerChad Beguelin, Tim Herlihy
LyricistChad Beguelin
DirectorNick Winston
Musical directorMatt Abrams
ChoreographerNick Winston
Set designerFrancis O’Connor
Costume designerFrancis O’Connor
Lighting designerBen Cracknell
Sound designerBen Harrison
CastAndrew Carthy, Ashley Emerson, Jonny Fines, Kevin Clifton, Rhiannon Chesterman, Sandra Dickinson, Tara Verloop, Erin Bell
Stage managerBeth Rennie
VerdictPerky but tawdry musical version of the popular romcom
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Julia Rank

Julia Rank

Julia Rank

Julia Rank

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In