Confetti and Chaos: The worst – but most hilarious – wedding reception you’ll ever go to
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14.03.2023

Confetti and Chaos: The worst – but most hilarious – wedding reception you’ll ever go to

Words by Joanne Brookfield

While a wedding is supposed to be the ‘happiest day’ of a couple’s life, and they’re usually planned to within an inch of their overpriced life to make that so, it’s at the wedding reception where things can start to go a little, well, awry.

From throwing confetti, to throwing shade or throwing up in a pot-plant in the corner after one too many prosecco toasts, wedding receptions can get messy in all kinds of ways.

Which makes them an ideal setting for an improvised comedy show. In fact, the makers of Confetti and Chaos are really hoping that their Melbourne International Comedy Festival season “might just be the worst wedding reception you’ll ever go to!” says Jared Harford.

Confetti and Chaos runs at the Stamford Plaza Melbourne from Tuesday April 18 to Sunday April 23. Buy tickets here.

Harford is the Producer and Programmer for Interactive Theatre International, the company behind the enduringly popular Faulty Towers The Dining Experience, which is an immersive dinner and show comedy experience, taking its inspiration from the iconic British television series, which has been performing consistently for the past two and half decades around the UK, Europe and here in Australia.

Confetti and Chaos, which is similar in that it’s improvised, interactive and involves a three course meal, is making it’s Australian debut this year and, to make it even more authentic, is being performed at the Stamford Plaza Melbourne.

“The show doesn’t have to be done in hotels or wedding venues, but we have used them a lot in our tours,” he says of the fact the show has been touring the UK for the past five years, including sell out seasons at Edinburgh Fringe.

“The most important thing is that the audience come into the world and believe they are at a real wedding reception. It’s made easier of course when we use a real life wedding venue,” explains Harford.

The show was created between ITI’s Artistic Director Alison Pollard-Mansergh and the original UK cast, who had performed a sketch show called Bite Size Comedies. “The show is essentially built from this sketch and between about ten different actors working on developing the show, we have ended up with what you see today,” explains Harford.

The Australian cast features Jack Newell, Rebecca Fortuna, Monique Lewis, and Adrian Espulso and between them they will play nine different characters, ranging from bride and groom, Stacey and Will, their family members, best man and more.

“These four haven’t been involved in the UK tours; but Monique was part of the team of actors invoved in re-writing the show for Australia. We’ve developed it further and now ready for the big Australian premiere season!”

The premise is that it’s a surprise wedding reception that Stacey and Will “didn’t think they could afford” and it soon degenerates into pandemonium, with uninvited guests showing up and secrets coming out.  “Just a traditional wedding reception with a whole bunch of people who shouldn’t be in the same room,” quips Harford.

Given this is an interactive show, audience members have their roles to play as well. “The moment you arrive, you’re part of the world. Like all wedding receptions, there’s some awkward mingling at the start, finding out who you’re sat next to, speeches, everything you would expect,” explains Harford of how completely they are replicating every detail, right down to wedding cake.

However, if you’re not the extroverted type, you can still enjoy the show without participating, he says. “The actors are really skilled at working out who wants to play and who just wants to sit back and watch. Some people will get given roles to play, but everyone can be as involved, or as not involved, as they choose”.

“If you just want to sit back and watch, you’ll still have a good time, but by the time the show ends, everyone will want to jump up and join in the dance!” he says.

Given the universal nature of the setting, Harford predicts Confetti and Chaos will appeal to a wide range of audience members. “People in their 20s-30s, as all we think about is love. People in their 40s-50s as they remember all the hilarity of their wedding or weddings they’ve been to; and people 60+ who just want to get out and have a fun night at the expense of a young, naive couple!”

However, he’s expecting Confetti and Chaos will appeal most to a younger audience, especially as they are asking everyone to dress up in their wedding finery when they attend the show. “My favourite was a show in Edinburgh where an audience member made a hat out of balloons, and halfway through the show it burst!” he recalls.  “Just remember, don’t wear a wedding dress to someone else’s wedding….”

Confetti and Chaos runs at the Stamford Plaza Melbourne from Tuesday April 18 to Sunday April 23. Buy tickets here.

This article was made in partnership with Interactive Theatre International.