Review: A Respectable Wedding, Root & Branch Productions, 53two, Manchester
Think about the type of person you’d least like to encounter at a social function and I guarantee they’ll turn up in this play. The insufferable bore, the uber bitch, the sneaky ‘friend’ revelling in the misfortune of others, the toxic couple who shouldn’t be sharing the same planet let alone the top table – they’re all present and correct in this Huddersfield theatre company’s rowdy comedy.
Written by Brecht, this translation by Rory Bremner immediately makes its intentions clear. From the first toast, the veneers of these nine awful guests start to crack at the wedding reception from hell. Quite why there is such an undercurrent of hatred is never really explained, but looking for clues among the glares and insults, and imagining what might have happened is entertaining.
The strong, capable cast turn it up to 11 from the outset, particularly Joe Geddes as the increasingly wound-up groom who successfully manages to elicit laughs and sympathy in equal measure. Nifty choreography with some poorly constructed furniture also adds a touch of slapstick to the self-loathing.
At 80 minutes, the piece rattles along nicely and, unlike the guests, it never gets close to outstaying its welcome.
A Respectable Wedding is showing at The Greater Manchester Fringe at 53two until July 12, 2017. For more information and tickets, click here.
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