The Wedding Reception
The Principal, George Street
August 11-13, 15-19, 22-27 (times vary)
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
Australian theatre company Interactive Theatre International, has been bringing us immersive theatre experiences since 1997. That was the year they created their interactive version of Faulty Towers which has since toured the world to rave reviews. The Wedding Reception has been running since 2015, and has appeared at the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringes, in Singapore, and toured Australia, the UK and Ireland. The show contains all the classic cheesy moments of a British wedding gone horribly wrong, with skeletons getting flung wildly out of closet as the evening descends into utter mayhem.
There’s an immense amount of heart and warmth in the show, it’s fast-paced and really funny. And the audience get a three course meal. What’s not to love?
Read the full interview
In the beautiful setting of the Principal hotel on George St, each member of the audience was invited in and treated just like a guest at a real wedding. It captured the atmosphere of a typical British wedding reception, from the awkward clusters of strangers making small talk over their wine glasses to the embarrassing father-daughter dance. As we waited to be invited in to the ‘surprise reception’ for the hapless bride and groom, Will and Stacey (played by Otis Waby and Nerine Skinner), we got to mingle with the best man Ricky (Hayden Wood), the wedding planner (Nerine Skinner) and even the straight-talking Yorkshire mother of the bride (Emma Packer). We increasingly had sympathy for Will’s sulky expression as his best man went off the rails, unwanted family members made an appearance and misunderstandings abounded.
The cast of four are skilled and talented actors, who pull off an impressive feat by morphing into no less than nine completely distinct characters. They have to think on their feet, using sharp improvisational skills, meaning that depending on the audience, no night will ever be quite the same. With a traditional performance of a farce like Moliere, you expect a complex and tightly structured plotline. But because of the specific nature of this kind of show, the many plot strands have to wrap around each other loosely to allow for spontaneity. So that much depends on how innovative and outgoing the audience members are. Most audience members were game, which added to the hilarity of the night. No pressure, but it depends on you!