Any bride- or groom-to-be wants a wedding day that’s perfect. In the slapstick romantic comedy “Perfect Wedding,” which the McLean Community Players will open next week in its Washington, D.C.-area premiere, a wedding day gets off to a rather rocky start.
Bill, the groom, wakes up in his honeymoon suite the morning of his wedding to find a woman in his bed. It’s not his fiancée. In fact, he doesn’t even know this woman’s name. And he doesn’t know how she got there. He has a wicked hangover from his bachelor party and more than a few gaps in his memory to fill. And he doesn’t have a lot of time to figure out how he got into this situation, because his fiancée is on her way to the suite. Wedding guests and hotel staff are swept into the comedic maelstrom as they try to keep the seemingly less-than-seemly encounter from the bride.
Carol Strachan, a veteran McLean Players director, cast her six-piece ensemble based in part on the actors’ understanding of farce and British comedy. “Perfect Wedding” is a work by Robin Hawdon, a British playwright known for his comedies, and the play was penned with a British audience in mind. Strachan could have changed the setting, removing the characters from their high-class London countryside hotel and placing them stateside, but she’s chosen to “keep it British.” The McLean Players have a tradition of regularly presenting British comedies, Strachan says, and they tend to be popular with audiences.
“Perfect Wedding” is a British comedy, but more specifically a British farce, with off-the-wall antics and frenzied action throughout.
“I like to think of it as a combination of the Whitehall farces and ‘Fawlty Towers,’” Strachan says, the former a series of farces staged in London in the 1950s and ’60s and the latter a beloved ’70s BBC sitcom about a hotel full of oddball guests and staff.
In “Perfect Wedding,” back-stories are concocted and ruses fail. Characters slam doors, run about the suite, hide, get locked out, get trapped in, and find themselves in surprising predicaments to the delight of audiences.
“I like the fact that it’s a constantly moving show; there’s no break from the action,” says Will McLeod, who plays the groom Bill in his debut performance for the McLean Players. “It’s very fast-paced and should keep people interested. No one should get bored during this show.”
Strachan hopes the play will offer audiences a fun evening of entertainment, and send them away still laughing about the antics they’ve just witnessed.
“Perfect Wedding” runs April 25 – May 10. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. The play will be performed at the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean. Tickets are $14 – $16. For more information, visit mcleanplayers.org or call 866-811-4111.