REVIEW: The Wedding Reception – Carmichael Hall, Eastwood Park, Giffnock

Interactive Theatre International already have a well-established hit on their hands with their much-loved Faulty Towers Dining Experience. Created in 2015, The Wedding Reception offers the same mad-cap, interactive, who-knows-what’s coming next, evening of adventure.

Will and Kate have got married, and while the groom is under the illusion that their wedding reception is a quiet, intimate affair, his bride and his in-laws have other plans…

Every aspect of The Wedding Reception is startlingly familiar, the seating plan, the circular linen covered tables, the gilded chairs, sparkling silver cutlery, top table resplendent with a multi-tiered cake, a three course meal and over a hundred guests decked out in their finery. There’s also the jack-the-lad best man, an eye-poppingly clad mother of the bride, the snobby aunt, the uninvited mother of the groom and a somewhat out of his depth wedding planner.

A cast of just four gamely portray the motley cast of characters with great gusto. Ben Hood is a particular star as best man Ricky and bride’s dad Ray, his physical comedy garners the biggest laughs of the night and is the catalyst to the audience relaxing and enjoying the craziness. Dave Tremain’s expressions as put-upon bridegroom Will are a masterclass in comic acting: sometimes subtlety is key. There’s mild audience (guest) harassment but nothing that would make anyone uncomfortable and the mixture of madcap comedy and time to enjoy your food is well worked out.

The cast have to be lauded for not only keeping the action going throughout the two-hour plus running time, but also dealing with the unpredictable and unscripted responses of the ‘guests’.

This is an original take on a night at the theatre and delivers an exciting entertainment experience for those looking for something different. Great fun and highly recommended.