I really do love an Australian play, and this one is an absolute cracker! Secret Bridesmaid’s Business, directed by Amy-Louise Anderson, is a lively ride, full of laughs with moments of touching sensitivity. From the moment the curtains open at Gold Coast Little Theatre, the audience is transported into the hectic pre-wedding jitters and last minute alterations that would strike a chord with many. The hotel room set was near perfect. The attention to detail, including a safe and laundry service basket in the wardrobe, made you believe you were really looking into an upmarket, well styled room. The only thing I was not sure of was a white floor trim that looked a little like tape that had been laid down for initial blocking. But, back to attention to detail – when the girls had showers, the audience could hear the water. When mobile phones rang, the ‘props’ were actually ringing. Someone backstage was completely on the ball, as they were all timed perfectly, which would not be an easy job.
The rapport between the cast made the play very believable. Bride Meg (Michelle Macwhirter) reminisced with bridesmaids Angela (Kate McNair) and Lucy (Kate Learmonth) over champagne, with hilarious results. When they phoned for room service sandwiches I was instantly transported back to my teen years. The laughter was so loud I could barely hear the lines. Audience favourite McNair trying to climb into bed drew more audience cackles. Mother of the bride, Colleen (Virginia Leaver), had just the right amount of panic and motherliness required for the job. Remember how your mum always had that one friend of yours that she didn’t like much? This mum is no different and Leaver pulled that off perfectly. I must admit that the mum in me came out briefly when Learmonth first came on stage. I had a real ‘you will not wear a split like that in your skirt, young lady’ moment. The entrance of the groom James (David Law) made for an interesting turn of events. Law and Macwhirter looked really good together on stage as bride and groom, except for a slightly awkward, very closed mouthed kiss. Naomi (Susannah Kwan) may not have been on stage for too long but she was perfectly cast, and extremely brave.
Each character had a ‘fourth wall break’ with monologues that allowed the audience into their heads. This prompted slight audience participation with the odd comment called out regarding what the audience member thought of the character, as well as applause for each actor from the crowd. These times made me feel like we were all really going along on this journey with the characters.
I had never seen Secret Bridesmaid’s Business before, and I have tried to be very careful writing this that I don’t give away the plot. I will say, however, that when ending came I did not want it to finish there. I did not want to stop my immersion into this rollicking world. It is so much more fun to be a fly on the wall when it comes to weddings, than to actually be a part of it.
I encourage you to get along to Gold Coast Little Theatre and offer a toast to the bride and groom!