Stage West’s newest showing, There Goes The Bride, is a brilliant comedy inspired by a British farce. Written by Ray Cooney and John Chapman and directed by Liz Gilroy, this 90 minute production with no intermission, is a modern take on classic farce comedy and it really brings the laughs. In the show an overworked, over-stressed father, Timothy, anxiously awaits his daughter’s wedding day. Unfortunately, when that day comes he is met with an unpleasant surprise, he is hit in the head and starts to see a beautiful girl who no one else can. This eventually leads to chaos as Timothy falls for this invisible girl and the rest of the family is just trying to complete the wedding as smoothly as possible. These events are played out brilliantly by a small cast of only 8 people who’s on-stage chemistry will make you feel right at home. This is definitely not a show for younger audiences as some of the humour is a little mature, however, anyone who does see it will be sure to have the time of their lives.
The performers in this show were spectacular. They made you forget that they were actors and not just their characters. Even when the spotlight wasn’t right on them, they reacted perfectly in character every time. This commitment to the character was definitely one of the highlights of the show. Some of the more minor characters brought the best jokes. The grandfather, Gerald, made every moment his and had the most laughs of the cast. Even the most minor part of the bride, Judy, had people bursting into laughter. On Top of the acting, the accents were spot on the actors had each word perfectly articulated in a believable accent which made it seem like you were taken to London. They even went as far as to pronounce things like ‘Bournemouth’ the English way (born-muth) which may seem like a small detail but it truly made the show better. It all felt so natural, this was, of course, all helped with the beautifully created costuming and set design, done by Norman Galenza-Macdonald and Sean Ellis respectively. While at times these designs made it slightly confusing to interpret the time period, it overall added exponentially to the shows already impressive feats.
Despite all of these assets, the show did carry some flaws, with the main one being the writing. In most traditional British farces the show was short and sweet with new jokes that consistently hit. In There Goes The Bride that aspect was occasionally lacking. In a few places you started out laughing and having a good time, but then the jokes would start to become repetitive and almost boring. This is not to say it was a bad show, although you should most definitely prepare yourself for some moments of lulls and predictable jokes. When the jokes did hit they were side-splitting. That was just unfortunately not always the case, certain plot points just seemed to take precedence over the actual comedy aspect, thus creating some almost awkward moments where humour was just lacking. The performers did amazing with the material that they were given. It was just the material itself that fell short.
Having said that, there were far more positives in this show than negatives. Another one of those positives in the fabulous direction that Liz Gilroy took with this show. The audience was treated to an up paced show with spectacular blocking and choreography. The choices Liz and the performers made in this show fit perfectly with the plot and overall made it one to be remembered. Whether it was the choreography between Timothy and Polly, the invisible girl, or just the movements that the actors made to make for more laughs, every direction was executed to perfection. It gave the audience a chance to groove along, laugh, and just have a great time watching the onstage action. The best of the action came in unexpected and spontaneous moments that left the audience roaring with laughter.
Stage West has once again put on a genuinely amazing performance. Despite the flaws with the writing this show still managed to be memorable and hilarious. This is sure to be an adult favourite, as the jokes are definitely meant for a slightly older crowd. Anyone who has experienced wedding day calamity will be sure to relate to the overall insanity and chaos that this show displays. You will be sure to leave the theatre with a smile on your face. Its farce nature makes for not only a great time but a great way to laugh out loud for a bit. For more information about this and upcoming shows, and to purchase tickets go to https://stagewestcalgary.com/