A friend or ours is in an amateur dramatic group, the Bleadon Players, (from Bleadon village)and their latest production, ‘Four weddings and an Elvis’ finished its run last night and we were in the audience. On the tickets, which had a very original design, we were invited to dress up, but unfortunately we had nothing for a wedding, nor for Elvis.
Considering I’m not a great Elvis fan, he has been in my life frequently in the last six months – a very good and hilarious Elvis impersonator just before Christmas, an excellent touring production about Elvis’s comeback in 1968, and now this play, written by Nancy Frick, and described as a romantic comedy, makes three!
The play is set in a wedding chapel in Las Vegas, owned by Sandy, a woman who has seen plenty of her own weddings – three in fact! The play recounts four of the chapel weddings which Sandy organised with an Elvis impersonating minister, and which were the most memorable for different reasons.
The first had a couple whose ex’s had gone off with each other, so the two had decided to marry as revenge… it didn’t quite work out as the husband to be got a phone call from his former wife begging him to return… which he did, leaving the twice jilted bride to be at Sandy’s alter with the Elvis impersonator from next door’s chapel waiting to conduct the wedding.. which was called off.
The second couple were two actors from an old hit series who wanted to get married to bring them back to public attention. However, it all unravelled when the husband to be confessed to being gay, and the prospective bride turned out to be a hopeless ‘lush’ as she was described.
The third wedding seemed the most unlikely of all; a timid mummy’s boy post office worker had fallen in love with a rough female convict through a correspondence – he had mistaken her username ‘Zipitbitch’ as something to do with postal zip codes. She had tried to reform and had been released from jail early and they were due to marry when her violent ex-boyfriend turned up; he’d broken out of jail to try to prevent the marriage. However, when he realises it’s true love, not only does he give his blessing but he conducts the ceremony as he became an ordained minister through a correspondence course while in jail.
The last wedding is that of Sandy herself, not to her ex-husband who she has married and divorced three times, but to an elderly chap who had come along to be the Elvis. Guests at the wedding were he abandoned bride from the first scene who married the Elvis impersonator, the old film stars who had reinvented themselves as vloggers, the postal worker and his wife the ex-con, plus her ex boyfriend who now lived with them.
It was definitely a feel-good play, silly but hilarious, and we the audience thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, lots of cheering, applause and singing along – and a lot of laughing, in fact we were almost crying with laughing in places. The acting was excellent – it could have seemed confusing with nearly a dozen characters, and performing with American accents (apart from the two Brits in the first act), however the cast carried it off brilliantly. There were lots of costume changes – and the characters themselves had personality changes there before our eyes. The stage was quite small and there was furniture on it so negotiating their way round the tiny area was another challenge.
Part 2 of this review will come tomorrow!
The next show by the Bleadon Players is going to be Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ – we are definitely getting tickets for that!
PS in the featured image you can just see Sandy on the right!