Young actors discover the '80s

It’s an era that existed before they were born but is hasn’t stopped Warrnambool College students embracing the ’80s with their production of The Wedding Singer at the Lighthouse Theatre this week.

Warrnambool College students rehearse for the stage version of The Wedding Singer, featuring Jessica Benter, 15, as Julia (front left), Billy Sloane, 18, as Robbie, Molly Hoffman, 17 (back left), Raven Hancock, 17, James Lugton, 16, Phoebe Sloane, 16, Tobin Varley, 17, Will Bonney, 15, Maddie Jackway, 17, and Madeline Taylor, 17. 140728RG19 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

Warrnambool College students rehearse for the stage version of The Wedding Singer, featuring Jessica Benter, 15, as Julia (front left), Billy Sloane, 18, as Robbie, Molly Hoffman, 17 (back left), Raven Hancock, 17, James Lugton, 16, Phoebe Sloane, 16, Tobin Varley, 17, Will Bonney, 15, Maddie Jackway, 17, and Madeline Taylor, 17. 140728RG19 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

Even the questionable fashion of the period has found favour, according to Warrnambool College acting assistant principal and director Emma Miller.

“I got the costumes and thought they were hideous, but the kids have been begging to keep them and have been wearing them as legitimate clothing,” Miller laughed.

“There are a lot of ’80s references and stories of the time and the kids have been Googling things, going ‘what does this mean?’.”

The Wedding Singer, which is based on the hit Adam Sandler comedy film released in 1998, is the second ’80s-themed production in a row for the school after Fame, but Miller said this was an accident. 

“They wanted to do a show that had more mature content and that was more challenging,” she said. 

“In the past they’ve done Mulan, Guys & Dolls, and Fame, and Fame (stood out because it) had more mature content and the kids really enjoyed that and the breadth it gave them in terms of their acting.”

The Wedding Singer closely mirrors parts of the film and Miller said the more mature content came from the plot about someone being left at the altar. “The fallout from that is mature content,” she said. “It’s about adult relationships, conflict and resolutions.”

The production features a cast of 53 and a similar number of crew, including choreographer Zoe Bethell, musical director Sonia Gellert and vocal director Aradie Walters.

There’s also an eight-piece rock band which will perform live as part of the production.

The Wedding Singer will be staged tomorrow and Friday at 7.30pm.

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