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Tom Wrigglesworth's Nighmare Dream Wedding

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

After last year’s splendidly uplifting show, inspired by his real-life run-in with a Virgin Trains ticket inspector, Tom Wrigglesworth’s disappointing follow-up seems to have got stuck in a siding outside Crewe.

A piece of storytelling, rather than out-and-out stand-up, Nightmare Dream Wedding never quite seems credible or funny enough to be worth investing either time or emotional commitment in. Sure, Wrigglesworth is charming and engaging, but he needs every ounce of that to prop up a story that – appropriately enough for a yarn set in the desert – is built on sand.

The premise is that he and his fiancée Lulu last year decided to fly to Vegas, where they suspected they might tie the knot. However, a sequence of events involving a rather simple girl he met in the audience of the Jeremy Kyle show, a burkha-wearing fellow holidaymaker called Fatima, an oxygen machine, a poker tournament and 600 tubes of toothpaste leads to calamity.

Sure, it has all the right elements of a storytelling show, from the jeopardy our hero finds himself in to the extracts from an accidentally found diary, which is just the sort of device that Wrigglesworth’s soundalike Daniel Kitson would employ. Yet everything feels too much like an artificial construct, even before they left for Nevada, and as the unfolding events get increasingly extreme, believability is stretched to breaking point – without crossing far enough to be an obvious fantasy.

Interacting nicely with the audience, Wrigglesworth is warmly funny when talking about the everyday. His authentic description of the Kyle show, for example, is wittily written and nicely told – even if his withering put-down to the smarmily patronising host is an old pub gag – while his affection for newfound friend May seems genuine. But take him out of that comfort zone of the familiar, and he’s on shakier ground as he puts plot and message-delivery above the funnies.

Wrigglesworth himself seems unhappy with the show’s filmed conclusion, but the truth is problem is more deep-rooted than that. A back-to-basics approach would definitely be recommended, not just for this story, but for his comedy in general.

Review date: 21 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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