Wedding Singer fun despite the occasional boob

THE musical incarnation of The Wedding Singer was Stage One Theatre Company s choice for its latest outing at the Kenneth More Theatre last week. Simon Lipkin, a KMT graduate who has had success in the West End, directed with some flair and an eye to youn

THE musical incarnation of The Wedding Singer was Stage One Theatre Company's choice for its latest outing at the Kenneth More Theatre last week.

Simon Lipkin, a KMT graduate who has had success in the West End, directed with some flair and an eye to younger audiences. And the result was engaging and fun if, perhaps, lacking a little fine-tuning.

At times, the piece sometimes seemed under-rehearsed, and developed a bit of a track record of bloopers, with at least one ''wardrobe malfunction'' (think Janet Jackson) and, on the night I was in the audience, a mistimed appearance by a gauze curtain (or was it the actress involved whose timing was off?)

That said, the show had great spirit and there was a wonderful eye-catching set.


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Harri Sepple, who co-produced with her husband Jai, created some very watchable choreography, not least in numbers like Saturday Night in the City and All About the Green, the latter of which featured saucy secretaries strutting their stuff.

There was some tight orchestra action under the adept baton of Edward Sage and some truly memorable costumes.

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For those who missed the movie - New Jersey's favourite wedding singer Robbie (Jai Sepple) is jilted at the altar by his long-term love (Harri Sepple). In his search for new love, he falls for waitress Julia Sullivan (Tanya Shields), but she is soon engaged to Glen Guglia (Keir Ramshaw). Can Julia break away from Glen?

Jai gave a strong and engaging performance, but he was once again hampered by an inadequate rug, whose errant fronds hid half his face for a lot of the performance. It was a pity, since Jai once again put everything into his role, and carried the show.

Tanya's Julia was a lovely creature, full of light and shade and possessed of a terrific singing voice; I will long remember her Come Out of the Dumpster.

And Scott Harris gave a characteristically energetic, believable performance as Robbie's bandmate Sammy; fortunately, Scott was equipped with a hairpiece which looked realistic.

Sophie Hatton, a tiny slip of a woman with a towering voice that occasionally reminded me of Whitney Houston, gave a wonderfully high-octane performance as Julia's friend Holly. Her rousing (and raunchy) opening of Saturday Night in the City was very impressive.

Harri as Linda was all vamp - and, boy, that woman can play the vamp - the kind of very watchable portrayal we have come to know her for, while Keir Ramshaw did good service as Glen.

Robbie's other friend George was played with great flair and humour by Richie Daysh. His character worked well with Loraine Porter in a marvellous, twinkly appearance as Robbie's granny Rosie. Katherine Lascelles didn't get much of a chance to air her vocal chords playing Angie, but this versatile performer added her usual charm to the mix.

There were some complaints about the high volume of the music, and there were parts that needed the rough edges knocked off. But the audience I was in was delighted with it all.

- SUE LEEMAN

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