Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings

Singer finds all the right notes

The Wedding Singer

BMOS Musical Theatre Company

The Old Rep


THEATRE programmes have been known to devote a page or more to the story of the production of the moment.

This one wraps it up in 18 lines, and that's about right.  The wedding singer is Robbie, the man whose love life has an unfortunate effect on the talent he takes to other people's weddings. But it all ends happily, and that's it, really.

Fortunately, an excellent company maintains our interest, even incorporating a momentary kiss involving two waiters – and it did not waver on the first night, even when Patrick Pryce, as the wedding singer who had habitually dressed rather rough and readily all evening, did a quick change into his first posh suit and omitted to fasten the flies that had until then kept his red nether garments under wraps.

These things happen. They happen. It's no good fighting fate. And Patrick is doing too good a job to allow his concentration to be upset by what must have been a disconcerting moment when he got back to the dressing room. The wedding singer's stamping ground is New Jersey and Patrick comes believably to his responsibilities. He may be a pseudo American, but he could have fooled us as he took more than a dozen songs very confidently by the scruff of their necks and shook them until they frothed.


It is an excellent performance, precisely what is needed from the linchpin of the production. He is in excellent partnership with Milly Bolton, as Julia – whose full name, quite improbably, is in fact Julia Guglia. It may raise eyebrows, but it gets a laugh. Here are a sweet performance and a pleasing voice and, I am sure, the beginning of a successful adventure in musical theatre.

The central pairing is supported by a lively company, among whom Abigail Mullings has no end of a ball as a rapping Grandma, and Chris Psaras (Glen) – who has a pleasing partnership with Jodie Gibson, as the saucy Holly – joins wedding singer Robbie and The Suits in lively musical praise of money, with All About the Green.

And there is an assured account of Linda by Jessamine Osborn – who at one point achieves a studied triumph of inelegance that is a joy to behold – while Richard Green comes amusingly to George. Stephen Cowdrill (Sammy) features in several numbers, particularly in Right in Front of Our Eyes, with Jodie Gibson.

It's a pleasing evening, thanks to an insubstantial story being masterfully underpinned by a company that knows how to do justice to some two dozen musical numbers under musical director Richard Toomer, with choreographer Sarah Hickman the mastermind behind all that accomplished footwork. All praise to its director, whose name seems to have escaped the attention of the programme compiler, notwithstanding the list of some two dozen contributors to the production on the inside back cover. To 9.7.11.

John Slim 

And at the reception . . .


AFTER a somewhat stop-start opening to this Chad Beguelin musical, the second act is more of a honeymoon as the story and music go up a couple of gears.

Long-haired Robbie sings at weddings for a living, but his own love story hits the buffers when he is jilted at the altar by his pretty blonde girl, and his next fancy seems out of reach because she is about to marry a wealthy Wall Street businessman.

In his first major role, a year after his debut with the BMOS Musical Theatre Company, Patrick Pryce is an excellent Robbie, his powerful voice peaking in All About the Green and the duet, Grow Old With You as he finally wins and weds Julie.

Millie Bolton, studying for a degree in music performance at Birmingham's Academy of Music and Sound, is a delight as Julie, who ditches the unfaithful Glen (Chris Psaras), and there are splendid performances from Jodie Gibson (Holly), Richard Green (George) and Jessamine Osborn, playing old flame Linda who has a steamy bedroom scene with the drunken Robbie.

 Sarah Hickman's choreography and Richard Toomer's musical direction are impressive. To 9.7.11

Paul Marston 

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