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Review: BRIDAL SHOP CONFESSIONS at Dolphin Theatre, Onehunga, Auckland

This outwardly appearing light-hearted tale certainly delivers the underlying messages whilst being fun, in fact quite the romp!

Review: BRIDAL SHOP CONFESSIONS at Dolphin Theatre, Onehunga, Auckland

Dolphin Theatre's "Bridal Shop Confessions" is a world premiere from award-winning New Zealand playwright Lindsey Brown. Directed by Robyn Bull it's the story of 5 childhood friends who follow through on their pact to be each other's bridesmaids.

Set in Madame Jeanne's bridal shop, vulnerability amongst the childhood friends is masked by aggression, sarcasm and enforced 'politeness' until tensions become so heightened that the truth is revealed.

New Zealanders aren't great at authentically expressing their true feelings for fear of being perceived as a failure and this outwardly appearing light-hearted tale certainly delivers the underlying messages whilst being fun, in fact quite the romp!

Annabel (Lauren Wilson) is already stressed about having 'the best' wedding possible and the pressure is spurred on by the 'I've got it all' Lorin (Caitlin Flower) whose 'bitchiness' is clearly covering up 'something'. Exhausted Mum Nicole (Rosheen Leslie) can't keep away from her phone and her phone is elevating tensions. Then there's the stunning corporate high-flyer Maggie (Rebekkah Schoonbeek-Berridge) who is late and stressed but all that the others can see is her stunning beauty and success. A few know 'the secret' but that's not revealed - at first.

Adding to the personalities is bridal assistant Maria who is giving her best to do her best. She's feeling the pressure from her boss Madam Jeanne (Jacquelyn Hardy) who is after a good sale and if Maria can get the most money out of the client then life will be 'd'accord'.

Everyone will have their favourites in the cast, being drawn to someone just like them or that they know. For me it was the high energy cynical wit of Natalie played by Carolyn Lamonde. Lamonde brings a high energy and natural presence to the stage drawing my eye to whatever she was going to do next.

As always the set at Dolphin is eye-catching and the one for this production was outstanding, Designed by Robyn Bull, it was simplistic but stunning with the perfect synergy of colour and focus. The set was further enhanced (I nearly said illuminated) by the lighting (Glen Horan).

Further to the attention to detail of the foyer was commendable and the atmosphere of the play came to life the minute we stepped into the Dolphin.

This was definitely worth the drive across the city.

The season ran from 8th-23rd April at Dolphin Theatre Onehunga



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