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Review: My Big Gay Italian Wedding - Above The Stag Theatre, London

My Big Gay Italian Wedding


Above the Stag Theatre, 15 Bressenden Place, Victoria SW1E 5DD

Fabulous, frivolous and fun. These three words describe the whole experience, from start to finish.

The story, as you might guess, focuses on the wedding between Anthony (Benjamin Vivian-Jones) and Andrew (Robert Hannouch). This is fraught with difficulties from the start, with Anthony’s parents (Julie Ross and Paul Easom) insisting that the ceremony be conducted by their local Catholic priest, and that Andrew’s long-estranged mother is present.

The characters are a who’s who of the most outrageous personality types possible; there’s the over-protective Italian mother, the ridiculously camp wedding planner (Andrew Beckett), the drama queen jilted ex (incredibly well performed by Matthew Barksby), and bickering lesbians. Mix into this the crazy aunt (Sarah Dearlove), self-obsessed sister (Ceris Hine) and boyfriend-hating best friend (Jill Regan), and you’ve pretty much covered all the ingredients for a wedding disaster.

Both grooms are excellently portrayed and there are some very believable tender moments between them with lots of laughs too. The wedding itself is the over-the-top affair that Italians are famous for, complete with drunken antics, inappropriate groping and unexpected drama that almost calls the whole wedding off.

Paul Taylor Mills’ direction in this show is everything we have come to expect from him – the stage is loud, lively and exciting throughout the entire performance, and each character shines as individuals. After seeing this and the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (which we reviewed here), he is certainly one to watch out for.

All in all, there’s very little real substance to it, but there are some excellent performances and the whole evening was more fun than almost anything else we’ve seen recently, and camper than a row of pink tents (in a field full of pansies).

My Big Gay Italian Wedding runs at the Above The Stag Theatre until 19 November. Tickets £15 from www.abovethestag.com

Review by Robin Foreman-Quercus

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