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The Wedding Singer
by Matthew Sklar, Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy
The Mitre Theatre, Croydon
14th to 16th July 2011
Director: Lorraine Price
Musical Director: James Beal
Choreographer: Paul Cohen

Please use THIS LINK to view the photographs
 

The Wedding Singer:  The Mitre Theatre, Croydon   July 2011

 

The mid 80s were truly revealed in Lorraine Price's excellent production of The Wedding Singer

 

She had gathered about her a talented cast intent on good characterisations, vocals worthy of the West End and an ensemble who could not only dance but become many of the other folk that make this musical.

 

Shining brightly as Robbie Hart, Dominic Binefa combined the swagger of a good lead singer with inner doubts of one left at the altar by his fiancée Linda – with Emily Smyth belting out her solos.

 

Vocalising very differently, Katy Davies' Julia encompassed pathos and comedy, showing her growing love for Robbie even whilst unaware of it herself. Aided, eventually, by her cousin Holly, played in lively, bubbly fashion by Beci Sageman, Julia realises her fiancé, Glen, is not for her. Darren Flick made Glen suitably pompous, misogynistic and uncaring.

 

The other two boys in the Wedding Singer's band are the effete George made completely loveable by Peter Davis and the more hard nut Sammy with Paul Grace as Holly's chucked boyfriend. Olivia Beckwith created sassy Grandma Rosie – delivering popular comedy and advice and Krissi Perry was Julia's doting Mama. Kevin Hayes made a great job of his six very different roles.

 

Paul Cohen's choreography created lively numbers with Saturday Night in the City a highlight. MD James Beal led a gifted band and the programme reveals the many and varied backstage crew.

 

Theo Spring                           Croydon Advertiser                                  28th July 2011


The Wedding Singer:  Shaftesbury Theatre, Dawlish   August 2011

 

It’s great to see The Mitre Players (Croydon) back in town, at the Shaftesbury Theatre with the musical comedy The Wedding Singer – sending their audiences on a thrilling trip down a 80s Memory Lane. Lorraine Price (a Director with a superb understanding of the period), the Musical Director James Beal and the Choreographer Paul Cohen, assembled a multi-talented cast of actors, musicians and backstage crew to turn this piece into a night to remember.

 

Outstanding amongst this thoroughly energetic cast was Dominic Binefa as Robbie, the wedding singer and jilted bridegroom but not for long as he meets waitress Julia Sullivan convincingly acted (and with a fantastic voice) by Katy Davies. As Holly (Julia’s cousin), Beci Sageman shone in this role, and certainly earned the ovation she and the whole company received for Saturday Night in the City which ended the first half of this show with a bang. As the ‘so called villain of the piece’ Glen Gugla, Darren Flick did not lose any punches playing this unsympathetic role with aplomb.

 

Throughout this whole musical, Paul Grace and Peter Davis sustained their characters of Robbie’s band colleagues Sammy and ‘limp-wristed’ George, with his Boy George make-up and hair accessories. The quintet Single was one of the many highlights of this show, not only for the above duo but also for Ricky, Bum, Robbie and the hard working ensemble players.

 

There were many cameo performances in this cast but top of my list is Emily Smyth as the sensuous Linda (Robbie’s intended bride) followed closely by the ‘rapping’ Grandma, Rosie played by Olivia Beckwith. As Julia’s mother Angie, Krissi Perry was always on cue to give convincing advice to her daughter and niece Holly.

 

No musical can succeed without the music and it is always a pleasure to hear an accompaniment of such accomplished musicians as the Mitre Sextet.

 

One cannot say enough in praise of the highly dedicated backstage crew, from the atmospheric lighting designs, the cinematic screenings both upstage and descriptive side panels, the effective sound effects to the skilful and noiseless scene changes. Great detail had been sustained by the wardrobe, property and wig departments to ensure the multi 80s costume changes all created the period effectively.

 

Well done everyone and Dawlish awaits your next visit to your second home with another memorable production.

 

Geoffrey Wildey                                                           Dawlish Gazette                                                   August 2011