“The Worst Wedding Ever” – Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich. 2/3/17
Julia Hills and Elizabeth Cadwaller
Upon entering the auditorium and seeing photos of some very unusual and strange weddings on the screen, I couldn’t help but wonder what was in store.
In fact, the play is less about a wedding and more about family and inter-family relationships. This is something we can all relate to and we all know weddings magnify the stress and expose the cracks.
Rachel and Scott just want a quiet wedding but Rachel’s family think differently and as a big wedding is too expensive they call in favours to give Rachel the wedding they think she wants.
The 10-strong cast all deliver excellent performances but for me, it was Julia Hills as Liz, who delivered an outstanding performance of both pathos and humour and Derek Frood as her husband Mel, who was both under the thumb and leading the revolution at the same time – they both led this cast superbly. Elisabeth Hopper as Rachel and Nav Sidhu as Scott are the young couple preparing for their nuptials and you couldn’t help but feel for them while they struggle to get their desires for their wedding understood and are railroaded into what everyone else wants. After all, as Scott is told – this day isn’t about you! Elizabeth Cadwallader also delivered a strong performance as the almost-divorcee who finds out that her Ex is expecting a baby with his new girlfriend, indicating that she is the reason they couldn’t start a family. She moves from lush to devastation with great skill, especially after the chemical toilet incident!
The interspersion of well know ‘wedding favourites’ from the band during scene changes and throughout the duration of the play added an extra layer and tied up nicely with the storyline in Act 2.
Whilst there is some laugh out loud comedy throughout the show, these are counter balanced by some equally dark and dramatic moments. These are all relatable and at one instance I even felt some tears welling up when certain aspects hit home.
Chris Chibnall has delivered some real gems in the script and the cast were able to make them sparkle and give us a thought-provoking and hugely funny evening’s entertainment.