Robin Hawdon's hilarious comedy

Showing:

28 September - 18 November

Evening shows from Tues – Sat.
Saturday matinees every week.
Sunday matinees from 8 October.

Imagine... A bridegroom wakes in the bridal suite on his wedding morning, with his bride-to-be about to arrive at any moment, and finds beside him – a naked girl. What’s more, an extremely attractive naked girl whom, in the depths of his post stag night hangover, he can’t remotely remember having been introduced to.
 
Imagine also that during the ensuing panic to get the stranger dressed, the bride arrives and the girl is trapped in the bathroom.
 
Imagine further that the only way out of the dilemma is to persuade the best man to pretend that the hidden girl is his girlfriend but that his real girlfriend is to be kept ignorant of the fact!
 
By the time the bride’s parents and half the hotel staff get in on the act the chaos reaches nuclear proportions.
 
This hilarious play moves at the speed of light with a riot a minute that will leave you aching with laughter.
 
The perfect medicine for all those thinking of getting married!

OPENING TIMES:

Matinee performances:
Bar open from 12pm.
Lunch served between 12:15pm and 2pm.
Performance starts at 2:15pm.
 
Evening performances:
Bar open from 6pm.
Dinner served between 6:15pm and 8pm.
Performance starts at 8:15pm.

Please note: every ticket comes with a home-cooked two-course meal.

Click here to see our Perfect Wedding menu.
Directed By:
Ron Aldridge
Written By:
Robin Hawdon
Set Designer:
Tony Eden
Costume Designer:
Natalie Titchener
Cast List:
Elizabeth Elvin – Daphne
Carla Freeman – Judy
Lucy Heath – Rachel
Rikki Lawton – Bill
Joseph Timms – Tom
Finty Williams – Julie

Reviews

“An express train ride on steroids with added booster rockets”

Henley Standard

"A snap, crackle and pop of a farce which fizzes with frenetic energy from start to finish"

Reading Chronicle
Click here to read full reviews

'Perfect Wedding' Reviews

Reading Chronicle – Carol Evans

In Perfect Wedding, The Mill at Sonning has produced a snap, crackle and pop of a farce which fizzes with frenetic energy from start to finish.

Indeed, the pace pounds along with such high-octane force that by the end of the show, the actors look wrung out and ready for a well-earned rest.

And the audience loved it, including (sitting unobtrusively in the back row) Dame Judi Dench, whose daughter, the glorious Finty Williams, was one of this brilliant cast.

Robin Hawdon's comedy should come as a warning to all prospective bridegrooms: don't have your stag do the night before the wedding. And if you do, then don't get so paralytic you can't remember how you ended up in bed in the hotel's honeymoon suite with an unknown naked beauty beside you.

What follows is typical farce fodder - lies, deceptions, confusions, people with similar names, much door-banging and rushing about - but under Ron Aldridge's deft direction, the cast kept what could have been a well-worn cliché fresh and new.

Bridegroom Bill doesn't want his fiancée Rachel to know that he spent the night with another woman, so when she turns up to prepare for her big day, he shunts the stranger off into the bathroom to get dressed.

And so begins a catalogue of deception. To get himself off the hook, Bill persuades Best Man Tom to pretend that the girl in the bathroom (who Tom has not yet seen) is his girlfriend. But Tom mistakes her for the chambermaid, who has turned up to change the sheets, and persuades her to join the charade. So...confusion all round, especially when chambermaid Julie and Tom’s real girlfriend Judy change roles - and names!

The cast were uniformly excellent. Rikki Lawton and Joseph Timms both gave robust performances as hungover Bill and wild-eyed Tom, ratcheting up the frenzy as circumstances caught up with them. Lucy Heath was a confident, no-nonsense bride-to-be Rachel, Carla Freeman gave a spirited portrayal as girl-in-the-bed Judy. Elizabeth Elvin's dishevelled mother-of-the-bride added yet another dimension to the mounting disorder. Above all, Finty Williams was mesmerising as feisty chambermaid Julie. This actor has such stage presence, it's impossible to take your eyes off her when she's on stage.

Comedies and farces go down very well with Mill audiences and this was no exception.


Henley Standard – Mike Rowbottom

It’s the morning of your wedding day, you wake up with a stinking hangover and realise there is a gorgeous naked woman beside you in the bed — and it’s not your wife-to-be.

What a cracking start to Robin Hawdon’s excellent farce, Perfect Wedding — an express train ride on steroids with added booster rockets. This is right in the Mill’s zone and few do it better.

The vast majority of farces start with plans for deceitful sex which usually get thwarted. Not this one: the deed has been done, no denying it — well, plenty of denying it to fiancée, friends and so on, but no denying it to each other.

It’s a delicious concept and what is becoming the Mill’s resident farce team of Carla Freeman, Finty Williams and Rikki Lawton — magnificent, all of them — give it everything they have.

They are joined by Lucy Heath, Joseph Timms and Mill regular Elizabeth Elvin to make a joyous guilty night out.

Perfect Wedding makes Finty Williams’s third show in 12 months at the Mill and we should be grateful for it. She shines — she always shines. Every time she enters our mood heightens in anticipation and she never disappoints. Rikki Lawton must have to do some serious endurance training for the energy he commits to these shows. He jumps about, skips, falls, gets up, acts like a man possessed and perspires freely with the effort of it. He grabs this script and wrings every last particle from it.

Carla Freeman has a head start whenever she’s in a show: she’s outstandingly attractive but there’s much more to her than that. She is a very good actress and some of the most poignant scenes in this show involve her.

Joseph Timms comes close to matching Lawton for energy and commitment as his best man, while Lucy Heath is a convincing bride-to-be — starting in innocence and gradually becoming more suspicious.

And Elizabeth Elvin gives a blowsy turn as the future mother-in-law which had us laughing — she doesn’t get many lines, but she knows how to make them work.

You can assume that with a start like that it won’t be an easy day for the groom: the bride is about to arrive and needs that hotel suite to prepare, the chambermaid is recruited to cover, and then deception is piled upon deception to hide this calamitous act.

Director Ron Aldridge makes maximum use of Tony Eden’s imaginative set design so that we can see at every stage what is happening — whether or not the actors are directly involved at the time.

In short, this is a fast-paced, energetic, well-expressed comedy with a satisfying twist at the end.