REVIEW: The Wedding - an Ashby Dramatic Society production at the Venture Theatre

By Llynda Baugh

10th Jun 2023 | Local Features

The Venture Theatre cast on opening night. Photo: Llynda Baugh
The Venture Theatre cast on opening night. Photo: Llynda Baugh

The Wedding - an occasion always portrayed as the perfect day. But this was billed as a comedy so it was obvious it wasn't going to be.  

From the programme, I knew before the curtains opened that this was based on a true story and was set in the 1970s.

I am always amazed at how few props are ever used on stage, and two chairs and a table made more than a few side entrances but, back to the The Ashby Dramatic Society production.  

For me, it was a play of two halves, and whilst the first half used its time to introduce a number of back stories, it was heavily dominated by a troublesome mother's principles and it wasn't until the second half that the dialogue allowed the audience to calmly take them in.  

There were some quiet moments amidst the chaos that ensued and, for those who remember that period, it was a reminder that some things have changed and others certainly haven't.  The excellent music segues and costumes portrayed the 70s perfectly.

The second half was engaging; not only in its story telling but in the way we all became part of the wedding party.  The rogue of the family took over the dominating role and his over-stressed accent was cleverly explained during a conversation with his brother.

There was drama throughout and amidst the now imperfect day, Uncle Brian was the calming influence despite quietly battling his own back story.

There was laughter from the audience all the way through and deservedly so. There were some very talented people on that stage who were allowed to individually show their non-acting skills at the end – not least the best man who had some great dance moves. 

The finale was touching and well thought out. My first-half uncertainty was swept away by the second half's tender storytelling and audience engagement.  Well done to all involved both - onstage and off.  This little theatre really does have a lot to offer.

• See poster above for the next dates at The Venture Theatre


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