Gillian Duffy on The Wedding Planners
Into Creative invited Gillian Duffy, the Irish author, playwright, screenwriter and producer to write about the upcoming live stream of the play, ‘The Wedding Planners’, which she co-wrote/produced with, actor, singer and songwriter, Alyson Orr.
Firstly, Gillian gives us a short scene-setter of the play which was last performed in late 2019:
‘Mairi has her dream job running the ‘I Do’ wedding agency, but it’s not all plain sailing – she has to deal with Bridezillas, wild Hen Nights and making sure there’s always plenty of Prosecco on tap!
Mairi is also fed up of being single. And to make matters worse, she stumbles upon a secret during her search for Mr. Right which threatens to plunge the agency into chaos and ruin everything for an unsuspecting bride to be.’
Glasgow, 2018, Alyson played some songs and melodies for me, things she had written over the past number of years but had done nothing with. I have always known Alyson to be a very talented singer and musical director, but that was the first time I was introduced to her skills as a composer and lyricist. My initial feeling was that she should do something with this great body of work. Alyson is a brilliant ideas person, and we are always chatting about various projects we can join forces on.
It wasn’t long after when Alyson got in touch with an idea for a show – The Wedding Planners. She had the three characters in mind (Mairi, Rose and Belle) and she wanted to know if I would be interested in writing the script based on her outline – and this was the ideal opportunity to use her songs. Although I don’t come from a musical background (I had written more long prose, drama and comedy up to that point), I was very open to working on a new musical rom-com, especially because it would include original music.
I really enjoy writing comedy, which probably sounds a bit obvious, but it’s more the fact that it flows faster and more easily for me compared to anything else, and the added beauty is that it can be constantly updated to fit in with whatever is going on at any given time. Comedy scripts, and shows like The Wedding Planners, are always evolving, reflecting the moment, which is why I think the show is relevant now, more than ever, with so many weddings sadly being postponed and cancelled.
I’m not married but I have been a Maid of Honour (thankfully unlike the very colourful ‘Maids of Dishonour’ in the show), and being Irish with plenty of knowledge of some (let’s say) very vibrant weddings, I definitely agreed with Alyson that the topic is prime territory for fun: Bridezillas, wild Hen Nights, outrageous Stag Parties, Monsters-in-Law, cringy father-of-the-bride moments, inappropriate best man speeches, dodgy wedding bands, drunken relatives, family conflicts – I could go on … and on … and that’s without even mentioning the girls’ individual romantic disasters.
We haven’t been able to perform The Wedding Planners since late 2019, so we are very excited about the Live Stream (for one night only, to quote another fab female trio) on Friday 5 March 7.30pm from Eastwood Park Theatre, Glasgow. And fear not, brides and grooms who have had to cancel or postpone weddings (or for those who have given up hope of getting married anytime soon) will definitely get some inspiration from our girls, who have their very own set of guidelines! If anyone wants an unconventional approach to love, dating, the search for Mr. Right, getting married, or if you just fancy a laugh, you’ve come to the right place.
I think comic relief is what we all want and need right now, even more so than ever – I know I do, anyway.
The Wedding Planners is STREAMING LIVE from Eastwood Park Theatre, Glasgow, for ONE NIGHT ONLY, Friday 5 March 7.30pm. Tickets on sale from Monday 15 February at www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk
The production is supported by Creative Scotland and Scottish Government.