Perfect wedding? Of course not, when it’s a fast-paced British farce onstage at the VLT

(Photos by John Bauguess) Above: Left to right, Peter Fehrs, Diana Sobczynski, Tere Tronson, Samantha Cross, Alison Meeler and Mark Anderson make up the cast of Robin Hawdon’s “Perfect Wedding

By Randi Bjornstad

You know instantly when you hear the title that when Very Little Theatre puts on “Perfect Wedding,” it’s not going to be one.

That’s the hallmark of a good romantic comedy, of course, and popular British playwright Robin Hawdon’s play two-act play, onstage through June 24, definitely follows the theme.

As director Karen Scheeland put it in announcing the production, ” ‘Perfect Wedding’ is a great way to sit back, relax and enjoy an uncomplicated evening of laughter,” which, given the state of the world, sounds like a pretty attractive invitation.

As Scheeland describes it, the scene is a country house converted to a hotel in rural England — although Hawdon’s website says it could be a similar hotel in any place in the world — and the time is the morning of Rachel and Bill’s wedding.

The plot begins to thicken when Bill wakes up to find a strange woman in his bed and, as might be expected in a traditional farce, conspires with his best man, Tom, to hide the woman so Rachel doesn’t find out about the whole mysterious affair.

Every marriage has its ups and downs, but in “Perfect Wedding,” the trouble starts even before the ceremony (Photo by John Bauguess)

From there, it’s easy to imagine the mayhem that follows, and Hawdon is well-known for the fast pacing and bright dialogue of his scripts.

It’s a small cast. Rachel, Bill and Tom — played by Diana Sobczynski, Peter Fehrs and Mark Anderson — are joined by Alison Meeler as Judy, the attractive stranger, Samantha Cross as the cheeky chambermaid, Julie, and Tere Tronson as Daphne, the emotional mother of the bride.

The play has appeared internationally, to good reviews. In Russia, the write-up said the audience “laughed continuously for two hours, and then gave long applause. An excellent sitcom – the first of its kind at the Stage Molot Theatre. Hopefully not the last.”

“Perfect Wedding” had its first U.S. performance in 1997, in Wisconsin. It and Hawdon’s other plays have been performed worldwide, including New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Bonn, Warsaw, Tel Aviv, Sydney and Johannesburg as well in theaters in Russia, Scandinavia and Italy.

Some of Hawdon’s other titles include “The Mating Game,” “Birthday Suite” and “Don’t Rock the Boat,” as well as “God and Stephen Hawking.”

His most recent effort, “Coup de Grace,” set at the Cannes Film Festival, premiered in Germany this year. He also has decades of acting experience, mostly in British television and has written a novel, “A Rustle in the Grass.”

Perfect Wedding

When: 7:30 p.m. on June 15-17 and 22-24; 2:30 p.m. on June 18

Where: Very Little Theatre, 2350 Hilyard Street in Eugene

Tickets: $19, except $15 on Thursday and always for senior citizens and students; available at the box office, 541-344-7751, or online at TheVLT.com/

Randi Bjornstad

Has more than 30 years' journalism experience after a previous stint as a land-use planner. Got first rejection slip at age 11, but the editor wrote an encouraging note. Lives in Eugene, Ore., with husband-and-photographer Paul Carter, adorable dog Tallulah and quirky cats Pearl, Audrey, Garbo, Harry and Ozma.

randi has 135 posts and counting.See all posts by randi

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