Interview with the cast of The Wedding Reception: Brighton, London, Edinburgh and beyond!

Here is part 2 of our interview with the cast of The Wedding Reception, which plays in London again tomorrow, from 11-23 August at Edinburgh Fringe and then tours the UK.

How did you enjoy the show’s debut at Brighton Fringe? 

DANIELLE: I loved it. It was so good to feel the show come to life with an audience to actually speak to! We were lucky to have audiences who really wanted to get involved, some of the ladies even turned up in wedding hats and fascinators which made it all the more special for us. We couldn’t have asked for better reviews for our debut performance and we came away ecstatic that people had such a good time being part of something we’d created.

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BEN: Brighton was great. The venue was lovely, and I think I fell a little bit in love with the city itself. As always with this kind of performance, you don’t really know how 70 people are going to affect the show until you have 70 people in the room affecting the show. You can’t predict the unpredictable! But we found our feet and gave it our all and came away with some lovely feedback and some 5* reviews, which was as good as we could have asked for really!

BECKY: Amazing experience, the audiences were fantastic and it was a great venue for a wedding show as they hold real wedding receptions all the time.

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DAVE: The reception we got (excuse the pun) was better than we could ever have hoped for! It was brilliant to debut the show in my home town and receiving five-star reviews was unbelievable. It’s sometimes hard to know how audiences are going to react to a show, especially one that is brand new to everyone, but we were thrilled with the reaction we got from our first wedding guests!


How do you think the show will be received in London and Edinburgh Fringe? (eg, different audiences, venues, situations…)

DANIELLE: I am hopeful that it will be as well received as it was in Brighton. Obviously with this being a touring show we are always going to have to rethink blocking, spaces and sightlines, so the sooner we get used to doing this the better. London’s Kingsway Hall Hotel is a larger space than we had in Brighton so that will of course bring up a whole host of things to consider and adapt. Also it is likely to be a much larger audience but I find that exciting! As the show grows and travels further afield we will have to make changes to the comedy in the show so it is accessible to different cultures. For now though I am confident that with our mix of Northern and Southern based characters from all walks of life, audiences in London and Edinburgh will appreciate the story and get the gags!

BECKY: I don’t think it matters where we perform this show. The stylisation will always be enhanced by being in a wedding venue, but receptions can happen anywhere. This is a laugh out loud comedy but at the core of it is a universal love story which is never lost and everyone can connect with. And who doesn’t love a good wedding?

BEN: I’d like to hope it goes well, we have a lovely venue in London and we’ve had time to re-asses, so hopefully we are onto a winner. Audiences will vary and it’s how to involve them on an individual basis. We may get mobbed, maybe nobody will turn up, we don’t know! It’s a pretty accessible show and it’s about fun and laughter so if things go wrong, I’m just going to use it to my advantage and include it in the show.

DAVE: We can’t wait to premiere the show in London as well as at Edinburgh Fringe – we think people are really going to love it and I’m sure the different venues as well as a host of new wedding guests will bring even more to our top table! Some people love to play along with the world we create, others just prefer to sit and watch quietly – either way, it’s important to realise that we never force the interactive element on anyone. There are nine characters in total played by just the four of us with everything being played out in real-time, so for many of our audience members, it will really be unlike any other show they have seen before. In a lot of ways, it’s quite a complex show to perform, but our objective is simple: we just want people to feel like they’ve had fun and to leave the reception with a huge smile on their face!


What has been the most challenging aspect of creating a new show like this?

DANIELLE: Knowing what to keep and what to bin. This is something that was impossible to know wholly until we had an audience. It was only when you could hear a pin drop after delivering a line we thought was hilarious that we knew it had to go. My personal challenge was becoming comfortable with the completely improvised moments with tables, or at least I thought it would be until I did it. I now know I love it and look forward to the times I can sit at a table and chat to the guests, which, as the bride, I have every excuse to do.

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BECKY: As we play multiple roles in the show definitely the hardest part was being able to write the story when we knew not all the characters were available to tell it. Logistically this was incredibly challenging as well.


What do you think audiences will think of the show?

DANIELLE: They’ll bloomin’ love it! We hope. What I like about the show is that it is a show entirely for the audience, not the actors. It’s not pretentious or meant for a certain kind of audience, it’s meant for anybody and everybody. Our sole intention was to produce something honest and light-hearted that makes people laugh and go home feeling like they’ve had a really good night out. You will hopefully meet new people around your table to enjoy the antics with and get all the joy you would get from a real wedding reception, with a few more hiccups that would probably liven up the real thing anyway!

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BEN: Previous audiences have come away from the show with genuine praise and thanks. I had a lovely old lady say that it was the best night out she’d had in years. It has a celebratory feel-good factor about it and it also has a pathos about it so hopefully the audience invest in each person as they make friends with them throughout the course of the evening. It’s also a great way for audience members to interact with each other as they’re sat at a dining table with people they don’t know so it’s a very participatory scenario. This isn’t Kafka. It’s a comedy. It’s a wedding reception and a bit of a knees-up and it’s jolly good fun.

BECKY: Hopefully they will love it, fall in love with all the characters and feel part of the wedding and the family. Laugh, cry, party and come away feeling this has been the best wedding they’ve ever been to.

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