The Wedding Singer spectacular enjoyed by all who attended the Excel in Tipperary town

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The Simon Ryan Theatre in Tipperary Excel was transported back to the 1980s last week when Tipperary Musical Society took their audiences on a high-energy six-night run of glam, hilarity and rock & roll.
The production team of Helen Colbert (chorus mistress/musical director), Bill Stafford (director) and Miriam Ball (choreographer) ensured that the cast of just thirty, though small in number, were larger than life once they burst onto the stage.
The set for this production, designed and painted by Ben Hennessy and built by Kenny Ryan, was immense and striking, and prepared the audiences for the colour and vibrancy of the night ahead.
The frontline this year boasted a whole host of fresh new faces and though many were young in years, there was no lacking in their wealth of performance experience.
Limerick man Edmond Gubbins who starred as the title role of Wedding Singer Robbie Hart, had all the charisma and confidence needed for this role, and guaranteed that the audience were on Robbie’s side and cheering for his success from as early as the opening scene.
Edmond displayed his versatility as both a singer and an actor as he charted the character’s journey through love, heartbreak, failure and triumph, and his comedic ability shone through in particular during “Casualty of Love”.
Tipperary Town’s Amy Cummins was a sweet and gentle Julia, the waitress who longs for love. Amy managed to strike the balance perfectly between the innocent girl-next-door and courageous leading lady, doing so with great poise and elegance.
Two scenes that deserve a special mention are her solo performance of “Someday”, and also “If I Told You”, the duet between Robbie and Julia which showcased great emotion and beautiful harmonies on both their parts.
Donaskeigh’s Rachel Breen sparkled onstage as the fierce and sassy Holly. With performances reminiscent of 80s pop divas, Rachel wowed the audiences, especially during “Saturday Night in the City” in which she even incorporated that iconic water-scene from ‘Flashdance’ live on stage.
Jason Ryan, a long-time member of Tipperary Musical Society, embodied the smug, arrogant Wall-Street banker Glen. A slick and polished performance of “All About the Green” opened the second act with a bang.
Bansha’s Richie Crowe and Cashel’s Adam Skeffington completed the wedding band as George and Sammy respectively.
Richie portrayed the flamboyance of the Boy George character with great conviction and his performance of “George’s Prayer” in Hebrew showcased his stage experience and vocal ability.
Adam was a cool and self-assured rockstar as Sammy. Adam brought great energy to the stage and his all-male number “Single” proved a huge crowd favourite.
Michelle Foley made a return to the Tipperary stage this year as Robbie’s spunky, rapping granny Rosie. Michelle’s comedic timing was relished by the audiences and her performance of “Move That Thang” with Richie as George, had the theatre in tears of laughter each night.
Claire O'Dwyer was the brave cast member tasked with bringing the uninhibited Linda to the stage, Robbie’s ex-fiancée who is willing to stop at nothing in order to win him back. Claire’s vocal ability must be noted, especially during her “Let Me Come Home” number.
This was no easy feat and Claire delivered the character with excellent conviction. Siobhán O Donoghue appeared as Julia’s loud and brash mother Angie, bringing great humour and sass to the role.
The chorus throughout the production were remarkable – the hours of rehearsal became apparent as the ensemble transitioned confidently and seamlessly through copious costume and scene changes, impressive choral numbers, and exciting choreography.
The audiences each night were jumping to their feet by the time the finale arrived and it became clear that this bright and cheerful all-singing, all-dancing escape from reality was just what the people of Tipperary needed!

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