Perfect Wedding is a total “bedroom farce”. I am not joking! If you’re a lifelong Torontonian who never travels North of Steeles Ave. you might not be familiar with this popular genre of theatre and could walk away thinking productions like these are “cheesy”, or as my roommate described it: “something you might see on stage in Clarksburg, Ontario”. Well my new roommate, Vanessa, newest writer for TCTBlog, is absolutely right! Coming from a small town community theatre background myself, these types of farces were the bread and butter for my local community theatre group in the 90’s (there’s still a stack of well used, yellow Samuel French scripts somewhere in my childhood basement). Having felt slightly alienated by all of the high tech musicals and seemingly “professional” (sometimes pretentious?) productions in Toronto over the past year, it felt so nice to “come home” to *real* community theatre and have a good laugh!
Perfect Wedding by Robin Hawdon and directed by Anne Harper of Alumnae Theatre fame takes place on the morning of the wedding of Bill and Rachel. The play opens with Bill awakening in his soon-to-be honeymoon suite, completely hungover and to his horror, sharing a bed with a strange woman. Misunderstandings soon occur in rapid succession, the entire cast is often herded back and forth between two (very well-designed and executed) rooms within the hotel suite, doors are slammed and hilarity ensues.
Kudos to everyone in the cast for their very well done British accents. I don’t really *know* how on pointe the accents were due to my lack of travel abroad but they weren’t noticeable or jarring. Basically, it was the exact opposite of when Madonna attempted to adopt a British accent during her brief marriage to Guy Ritchie.
The standout performance came from Rebekka Gondosch as Julie the chambermaid, who recently completed her Masters of Philosophy in Theatre and Performance Studies at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She really took the role of what would have been a minor part and turned herself into not only the “voice of reason” amidst this farcical plot, but also the funniest character as well. Rebekka commands the stage and we can’t wait to see what she does next.
Matthew Martineau, who played husband-to-be Bill, did a fantastic job of portraying the high stress and anxiety that someone in his situation would undoubtedly be experiencing.
Madeleine Swinkin’s turn as Rachel, the beautiful bride-to-be, was effortless and charming. Understandably, she has high expectations for her big day, and you can’t help but sympathize with her when things start to go awry.
Jocelyn Feltham had a challenging job with the role of Judy, a very multi-faceted character, which she managed to pull off seamlessly.
Cam Parkes as Bill’s best man Tom, was both endearing and enraging. I could identify with Tom and his yearning for true love but what I couldn’t stand was how he treated his best friend, Bill. Cam was recently a part of my new favourite Toronto based web-series “This is Community Theatre” produced by The Annex’s “Nags Players”. Check out Cam in action here: https://youtu.be/8IJ8E_0moJ8?t=149
Gloria Lambert was perfectly cast as the overbearing and somewhat kooky mother of the bride, Daphne.
The lighting designer, Lisa Van Oorschot, deserves praise for the clever use of light on both sides of the set — one side the bedroom and the other side the sitting room of the honeymoon suite.
In Perfect Wedding, both romantic relationships and friendships are questioned and put to the test, blending both drama and comedy in a way that will keep your attention until the very end. The high energy of the actors should also be commended. The actors, the dialogue and the script really work together well to transport you to an English countryside manor turned hotel.
Perfect Wedding runs until Saturday, May 19 at The Village Playhouse. One block East of Runnymede Subway.
Senior Over 65 years: $20.00 (Wed/Thurs/Sun only)
Under 30 years: $20.00 (ID required)
Group of 10 or more: $20.00 (must be paid in advance; buy 15 tickets, get the 16th free)
Call 416-767-7702 for reservations or visit villageplayers.net.
Next up for Village Players
The Village Playhouse is hosting A Night of Vintage Radio Plays, including Adventures of the Thin Man: The Case of the Goofy Groom & Adventures of the Fat Man: Murder is the Medium on June 22nd at 8 pm and June 23rd at 2 pm and 8 pm. Tickets are $20. Seating is first come first served.