The enthusiasm of the cast on the opening night of Inverness Musical Theatre’s production of The Wedding Singer is infectious. Adapted from the Adam Sandler comedy of the same name, this is a dynamic show led by the talented romantic leads of Matthias Kremer and Natalie Sutherland playing Robbie and Julia.
One of the great strengths of community theatre is that the stage is populated with characters of every vintage, shape, and size, and this supporting cast certainly holds their own. Amongst the ensemble are numerous vignettes on the periphery of the action: depressed wedding guests, cleaners stealing money, a disgruntled drummer, and celebrity impersonation. It adds a lot to the performance and these characters are all wonderfully realised by wardrobe designer Dawn Murray.
With such an abundance of talent on display, it’s difficult to single out individuals but three of the female principals deserve particular mention. Sian Noble, playing Linda, nearly halts proceedings with her ultra sexy A Note From Linda – something she doubles down later with Let Me Come Home, which adds an extraordinarily agile dance routine to her repertoire. George, played by Zoe Kinnear McIntyre, momentarily causes a hiatus with her virtuoso vocal performance in George’s Prayer, while Ruth Foster is charming as Holly.
Of particular note as well is the work of choreographer Alan Banner, along with assistant Dianne Macaskill, who create an extraordinary display. The dancers’ synchronised routines are coupled with moments of acrobatic genius that bring delight to the audience. Watching Rosie, aka Grandma, played by Caroline MacPherson, doing back flips across the stage is just one such moment.
Less successful however is the lighting. The use of dark red and blue melding into purple seems a grim choice for romantic musical. It certainly doesn’t enhance proceedings. Likewise, at the opening and closing, enthusiastic use of spotlights range over the audience, but this continues into the main performance meaning that distracting beams of light roam across the stage.
Also disconcerting are the scene changes. The scene crew are efficient and polished but appear in modern clothing. It would add to the show if they too wore 80’s clothing and were better integrated into the cast.
Despite these minor setbacks, director Steph Smart has achieved a magnificent production which is hugely enjoyed by the audience.