The majority of us have varied memories of attending weddings, either as part of the bridal party or as guests. All weddings are fantastic in their different ways like a bag of mixed nuts, with the romance, awkwardness, disasters, humorous shenanigans and the family to contend with. Worst Wedding Ever serves up just that.
A wonderful comedy penned by Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall, that carries notes of the empathetic scenes fans of the ITV drama will feel acquainted to, but has plenty of laugh out loud moments throughout the play.
Rachel (Elisabeth Hopper) and Scott (Nav Sidhu) are in love with a plan, having just purchased a flat together and Scott just left his job to train to be a teacher they want a simple and cheap wedding. So they have their plan, and when it comes to a meddling family…“Stick to the plan”… yep, always works doesn’t it?
Rachels’ mum Liz, robust yet lovingly portrayed by the hilarious Julia Hills, has bigger Ideas for her daughter and with the assistance of her comically, always inebriated divorced sister Alison (Elisabeth Cadwallader) Rachel is coaxed into a ‘free’ wedding at home.
In full wedding planner mode, they convince Rachel they can borrow a marquee to place on the common land next door and that each guest will bring a dish for the buffet. To clinch the deal the local Vicar Graeme (Kieron Hill) just happens to pop in and offers his services for free – just come to church for a few Sundays. Somehow they win Rachel over and she believes it could just work. We always believe as a family we can pull things off, however a poignant line delivered by Liz at one point in the play “we’re family and no-one comes out of family unscathed,” is also rather amusingly true, I’m pretty sure we can all resonate with it at some point. Unfortunately for Rachel, it’s on is her wedding day.
As the morning mayhem starts, Mel (Derek Frood) who delivers a stand up performance as the supportive male figurehead of the family, keeper of peace father and husband, unwittingly sets his future son-in-law into a path of wedding day destruction.
Including the ultimate man duty; parking control, leading to egging wars with the neighbors. He also has him helping him hide his beloved but boisterous dogs Frodo and Gandalf in the shed. Far more humane to drug them with his wife’s sleeping pills then to force them to be in a kennel for the day, unfortunately it’s not quite enough lending to an amusing scene with the poor unsuspecting vicar. As they secretly muddle on, taking orders from Liz, Mel delivers a hilarious life-learning tip to Scott, another great one liner that we can chuckle with secretly denoting it to our own experiences “when you love someone you are a small step away from utterly despising them.”
Unaware of all this, Rachel walks out to discover the band have let them down and her mother has called her sisters ex-husband, who is in a band to help out. Unfortunately he comes with news that lends to Alison locking herself in the portaloo, which is by far one of the funniest scenes of the play. The day comes to its demise when the family let their bottled up feelings burst out and explode on each other, as we draw in breath with some emotional scenes that can feel close to home for so many relationships and families, yet through all the disaster you leave knowing they are going to be happy.
Worst Wedding Ever has a strong comical cast and is a thoroughly entertaining feel good play. To add the icing on the cake, the shenanigans of the play are wittily interrupted at appropriate times as a live band pop up in surprising places throughout care of a great set design.
Worst Wedding Ever is at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch until 1 April. For tickets call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or visit: www.queens-theatre.co.uk