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EFR - Reviews of My Big Gay Italian Wedding

My Big Gay Italian Wedding

Wed 3rd – Mon 22nd August 2011

reviews

Lise McNally

at 11:28 on 21st Aug 2011

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This production does exactly what it says on the tin. On the massive, flamboyantly camp, green, white and red striped tin.

Andrew (David O’Mahony) and Anthony (Daniel Joseph Serra) are getting married. Or so they hope. First they must overcome a jealous ex-lover (Matthew Barksby), a demanding mother (Amy Anzel), and the lesbian love triangles of what is essentially a whole chorus of Janices from Friends. The result is a fabulous feel-good romp suitable for anyone able to stomach a fondly handled stereotype and some rather screechy voices.

The company all maintain their memorable characters with an incredible energy which is testament to the fun of this production. Inevitably some performances became rather over the top, but it was instantly forgivable as the audience howled with laughter throughout. Andrew Beckett as the wedding planner was a particular favourite, darting and gesticulating his way around the stage like a little firework, exploding with a melodramatic charm. Damien Tracey, as Anthony’s dad and Father Rosalia, was equally delightful as both. In particular, the gruff love he demonstrated for his son was truly touching, a pocket of adorably understated feeling in a show erupting with drama.

If, like any good judgemental wedding guest (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D12S-PIRZec), I was asked to rate the venue, the dress, and the overall presentation of this particular bash, Paul Taylor-Mills’ explosive production would certainly earn my elusive 10/10. Gorgeously decked out with massive hair and an Italian colour scheme, the visuals of this play are as camp as Christmas on acid, and all the better for it. With musical numbers, dance routines, fights and frolics, your eyes and ears are constantly roving and never, ever bored. Maria (Ceris Hine)’s wedding performance is a particularly welcome surprise, and the wonderfully fun song and dance number at the end had everyone longing to get up on stage and join in the fun. Although the play lasted a tad too long, and there were moments when over-enthusiastic background acting drowned out the actual dialogue, My Big Gay Italian Wedding is the perfect antidote to gloom.

Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq3s_rTViK0. If you felt like getting up and dancing along, this is most defiantly the show for you. If you didn’t, go and see it anyway, and perhaps the sterling efforts of this loveable cast will finally get you on your feet.

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David Knowles

at 14:54 on 21st Aug 2011

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My Big Gay Italian Wedding delivers exactly what it promises. A hydrogen bomb of camp energy. The audience are treated to an hour and a quarter of unremitting high octane camp energy that pervades the entire cast and script. There are some wonderfully funny lines that are delivered with precise timing by the talented cast. My favourite being asking a member of the front row of the audience whether he had deliberately come to the show dressed as ‘Hugh Heffner’s penis’.

Daniel Joseph Serra gives a touchingly innocent and sweet performance of Anthony and his interaction with his husband to be, Andrew (played by David O’Mahony) is convincing. The stand out actor of this production has to be however Mauritzio the wedding designer, played by Andrew Beckett. Everything about his performance is pitch perfect. The energy he brings to the stage somehow manages to surpass that of the other actors and his movement truly is the epitome of camp. One more actor must be credited for rising above the others in this show and that is Matthew Barksby who plays Gregorio (the ex-boyfriend of the deceitful Andrew). His first appearance and scene on stage was greeted with gales of laughter from the dazzled audience.

There are however some problems with My Big Gay Italian Wedding. First of all is that the energy sometimes runs over into frantic and lines and important pieces of information are lost as the actors gabbled their words. Secondly, the play starts to drag after the wedding as the endgame is put off through the need of the script to wrap up several divergent plotlines. I would have loved the play to end right after the Ave Maria, instead it continued on for another uncertain twenty minutes or so.

One last special mention must go to Ceris Hine who pulls off singing the Ave Maria (which leads into a rap/call and response remix with the audience) fantastically, I was literally crying with laughter.

If you want some relief from the unremitting physical/metaphysical/’innovative’ theatre of the fringe I could not recommend this show more highly. Despite its problems it thrills.

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