The Maskers' Studio Theatre
31 January - 5 February 2022

Friday performance at 8pm, other nights at 7:30pm.

Sold Out

This amateur production of “Four Weddings And An Elvis” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd.


The Reviews


31 January 2022

After 17 years on the matrimonial circuit, Las Vegas wedding chapel proprietor Sandy has seen about every type of wedding! Could these four be her most memorable and hilarious…?

Nancy Frick’s sharp-witted comedy is presented in four scenes – one for each wedding – as the relationships between the couples are explored through ever-increasing farcical situations.

With four weddings, three divorces and one husband behind her, it’s unsurprising that Sandy (Jo Barnard) has become cynical about weddings, even trying to hold interventions for those she feels she can ‘save’ from making a huge mistake. However, beneath the sarcasm, Sandy holds onto her romantic aspirations as she oversees the nuptials of all the couples who pass through her entirely pink chapel.

First up are Bev (Hazel Slawson) and Stan (Neil Forster), a seemingly devoted couple who are apparently intent on getting spliced by none other than ‘Elvis’ (aka John from next door) as revenge for their exes getting together. But is all as it first appears?

Egotistical former screen stars Vanessa (Suze Avery) and Bryce (Jonathan Shepherd) refuse to accept their glory days are far behind them, so engineer their ceremony as a publicity stunt to kick-start their flagging careers. But where are the fans – and the press?!

The most unlikely couple is walking-postcode-encyclopaedia Marvin (Robert Osborne) and feisty ex-con Fiona (Rachel di Nucci). But will they get to tie the knot before either Fiona’s still-convict-ex-boyfriend or the police can object?

As the only actor to appear in all four scenes, Barnard is an acerbic yet empathetic lynchpin between the unconventional couples, balancing the nuances of her character with understanding and warmth. As opening night progressed, she grew in confidence as she emphasised Sandy’s sardonic side, adding another dimension to her character which contrasted well with her more affectionate sentimental persona, and I’m sure this will develop further as the week progresses.

The couples, officials and guests are hilariously brought to life by the cast, with all having their moments to shine amongst the stand-out performances, although some American accents are better than others.

Avery commands the performance space as ‘lushious’ (sic) Bridezilla Vanessa (with a dress that deserves a programme credit of its own!), while I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of Slawson’s emotional Bev!

Joe Hand is compelling as John, the minister next door who steps in to save the day, while his Elvis impersonation is amongst the best I’ve witnessed. Philip de Grouchy is full of charisma and energy, clearly having a ball as locum minister Lou, even if Lou’s Elvis impersonation is well past its best by date! Sam Hussey is a riotous force of nature as jailbird Fist, the comical third wheel in the relationship between Marvin and Fiona.

This is James Lawson’s second production as a director, but he has chosen an excellent cast, overseeing a production packed with charismatic performances performed at a slick pace, which is both engaging and entertaining. With a simple, pink set that captures the essence of a tacky Las Vegas chapel, musical interludes to cover scene changes in keeping with both the location and set dressing, and the addition of a live feed, there is genuinely something for everyone to appreciate.

This is a most enjoyable way to warm your heart and soul on a cold February evening and you are cordially invited to get your tickets for the date of your choice! Elvis will be performing more wedding ceremonies at 7.30pm until Saturday 5 February (8.00pm on Friday 4 February).

- Anne Waggott

Audience Comments

"I just wanted to congratulate the performers of the Four Weddings and an Elvis production on Saturday 5th February. The acting was excellent and the show was very funny. I hosted a meetup group of 9 people on the night. It was a fabulous evening - thank you. " - G.W.

"Was taken back by not only how professional the performances were, but the stage, lighting, sound and everthing behind the scenes is spot on. These guys should be really proud of what they present to an audience, as it's spot on." - S.H.

What Happens in Vegas...

A wedding in Vegas is special!

Sandy, the four-times-married-three-times-divorced owner of a wedding chapel in Las Vegas, has certainly seen her fair share of matrimonies! In the hilarious Four Weddings and an Elvis, we witness four of her funniest:
Bev and Stan, who are getting married--by the King himself--as revenge on their exes;
Vanessa and Bryce, two arrogant aging stars who are tying the knot as a publicity ploy, and are vexed by an aging Elvis who doesn't know who they are;
Marvin and Fiona, a gentle postal-worker and a tough ex-con trying to get married before the police arrive! However, the final wedding is the funniest of all:
The fourth wedding is Sandy’s fifth ...

“ this the most special?"

Director & Cast

The Director of this production is James Lawson
James has been a Masker for 15 years; it’s hard to think that 2007 was 15 years ago!! He has portrayed a variety of roles including TomJon in Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters (2018), a Mississippi lawyer in Crimes of The Heart (2013), a soldier in Accrington Pals (2007), a swash-buckling pirate in Treasure Island (2011) and Inspector Fix in Around The World In 80 Days (2017). This is James’ second outing as a director for the Maskers. His first was in 2015 when he directed Ben Elton's Silly Cow to sold-out audiences.

Sandy is played by Jo Barnard
Jo has been in three shows with Maskers – Great Expectations, Wyrd Sisters and Quartet – and says she is drawn to shows that are clever or funny but preferably both. She is therefore delighted to be playing the hopelessly (sarcastic) romantic, Sandy, in this highly entertaining play. Jo’s cousin ‘disappeared to Vegas, came back married’ many years ago. He announced his wedding by posting a photo of himself and his beautiful bride smiling in front of The Little Church of the West wedding chapel in Paradise, Nevada, and it was the most romantic thing she had ever seen. Viva Las Vegas!

Bev is played by Hazel Slawson
This is Hazel’s fourth performance for Maskers having appeared as multiple characters in Around the World in 80 Days, using a myriad of accents in Wyrd Sisters and making a lot of noise on guitar in Twelfth Night. Having performed at a great distance from the audience in the past, Hazel’s first studio show is a little daunting as the audience will be close enough to aim those tomatoes just right.

Stan is played by Neil Forster
This is Neil's first show with Maskers, and he's very excited to be involved. Neil moved to Southampton in 2020 after living in London for 10 years. Whilst in London he performed in a variety of shows including A Clockwork Orange, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Oh What a Lovely War, Harvey, and Cabaret. He grew up in South Shields and studied at York University, where he appeared in various other productions including Grease, Julius Caesar, Cider with Rosie, Arcadia and Journey’s End.

John is played by Joe Hand
Joe has been performing in Southampton for nearly 10 years, with highlights including stints as the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance and Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof with University of Southampton's Light Opera Society, playing Andre Thibault in Southampton Musical Society’s production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and co-writing and starring in Gauntlet Theatre's My Life Closed Twice, which won the Gothenburg Fringe Festival Hot Potato Award in 2018. By day, Joe works for the university, and by evening is most often found exploring and defeating Dungeons and Dragons respectively. This is Joe's first outing with Maskers.

Lou is played by Phil De Grouchy
A member of the Society since the early 1970's, Philip has played a large variety of parts in every kind of show and has been a very active actor this season, playing Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing, Mark in Yards Apart and being part of the company for A Box of Delights. Previous productions include Quartet, An Italian Straw Hat, Ten Times Table, The Flint Street Nativity and many Christmas shows, some of which he directed.

Vanessa is played by Suze Avery
Suze returns to Maskers after 18 months off for good behaviour. She is delighted to be playing the role of Vanessa; her last role for the company was Viola in Twelfth Night, and Suze now feels she is eminently qualified to play characters whose names begin with a ‘V’. She is looking forward to branching out to the rest of the alphabet in due course and is excited to be meeting Elvis.

Bryce is played by Jonathan Shepherd
Jonathan is excited to be back on stage with the Maskers. His most recent appearance was in January 2021 performing, from the comfort of his own living room, a short video monologue entitled I Got Me A Dog in Lockdown for the Maskers’ Between the Lines project. Prior to that Jonathan could be seen festively romping in the Maskers’ Christmas Miscellany Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow (2017), in which he was as a carol singer, an evil aristocrat and The Grinch who Stole Christmas! In Four Weddings Jonathan plays narcissistic ‘has been’ American actor Bryce Cannon, a role that requires an intensive pre-show beauty regime: Fake tan – check! Teeth whitener – check! Hair product – check! He is ready for his close up now.

Marvin is played by Robert Osborne
Robert has been with Maskers for 10 years and has been an actor, stage manager, production manager, lighting designer and director in that time. He is now Maskers’ productions director, tasked with choosing our programme of plays over the next seasons. Four Weddings and An Elvis will be his 10th acting role with Maskers, the last being Let It Snow in 2017 involving a puppet sheep. He is currently the only member to have won both the company’s David Bartlett Award for best supporting actor (Metamorphosis) and the Lockett award for backstage work for stage managing Pygmalion in the open air.

Fiona is played by Rachel Di Nucci
Rachel is a new addition to Maskers, having joined in 2020. Previously, she has taken part in theatre and drama groups throughout school. More recently, she was a part of the Solent Drama and Performance Society where she was in Titus Andronicus, The Crucible, and The Addams Family Musical. During her time at Maskers, she has helped out as part of the Front of House team for shows. Four Wedding and an Elvis is her first acting role with Maskers and she looks forward to more productions in the future.

Fist is played by Sam Hussey
Sam joined Maskers in 2019, debuting as Andrew Aguecheek in the outdoor production of Twelfth Night. Other roles for Maskers include the Guide in 100, and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. He’s also active in a number of other local societies, most recently appearing as Clive Morris in Seasons’ Greetings at the Romsey Plaza.
Sam has enjoyed getting to play a very different sort of character than his usual casting but wishes his wife wouldn’t laugh so much when she hears the other characters mentioning his muscular physique!

Ken is played by Andy Hussey
This is Andy's first show with Maskers and, indeed, his first show since playing Harold Wilson in Southampton Musical Society's production of Made in Dagenham 5 years ago. Andy is retired and is usually birdwatching or on holiday. He is excited to be a part of Four Weddings and an Elvis along with his son, Sam, and hopes you enjoy the show.

Creative Team

Production Manager
Jo Fox
Stage Manager
Jill Desborough
Set Design
Clive Weeks
Set Painting
Jo Fox & team
Set Construction
Clive Weeks, Brian Stansbridge & Maskers
Set Dressing
Angela Stansbridge
Lighting Designer
Clive Weeks
Sound Designer
Jamie McCarthy & Carrie Forster
Lighting & Sound Operators
Carrie Forster & Kal Robinson
Wardrobe & Costumes
Sheana Carrington, Jo Fox & Cast
Jo Fox & Adam Taussik
Rehearsal Prompt
Emma Bates

Ticket Information

Tickets £12

No concessions

On arrive at the Masker’s Studio

  • Please give your name (or the name the tickets were booked under) to our Box Office receptionist, and they will confirm your booking.
  • If you have pre-ordered a programme you will be given it on arrival. Programmes will also be available for £1 from a FOH member.
  • For the safety of all our audience members and staff we will be operating some Covid risk reduction actions.  Please use the hand sanitising stations on arrival, & temperature checks will be in place.  We will also be increasing the fresh air circulating throughout the venue.
  • NHS Track and Trace QR codes are available for you to check in when you are at the venue.
  • We strongly recommend that customers use face coverings whilst in the building for the safety of our staff and other customers. Please be kind to our staff and those around you.
  • Our staff will continue to wear face coverings for your protection.
  • Our bar will be open for purchases of hot drinks and alcoholic beverages.  We would encourage you to pre-order you interval drinks, to assist our bar staff and reduce crowding at the bar.
  • We are now able to take, and prefer, card payments but can also take cash.

During your visit

  • Please continue to wear your face covering throughout your visit. Unless exempt, or whilst you are drinking in the bar only.
  • We ask you to keep movement around the theatre to a minimum.
  • Toilets are open for use. Please wash your hands before and after using the toilet facilities.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available for your use at various points around the theatre building.
  • We have installed an extra extractor fan to vent studio air to the outside pulling fresh air in from the other side of the building.
  • Where possible windows will also remain open.  This may make the venue cooler than you are used to, so please be prepared.
  • Enhanced cleaning will take place throughout the venue before, and after the performance.
  • The taking of photographs or videos whilst the show is on is not permitted.

How will we exit the building/event at the end of the performance?

  • When leaving, please do not crowd the stairwell and allow everyone to leave easily and quickly.
  • Please take any rubbish with you or leave it in the bins provided.

What if I have specific access needs?

  • The stair chair lift is available and our FOH staff will assist you should you need to use it.
  • Any other requirements may be discussed with our Box Office manager in advance of your arrival.

Book with Confidence, Exchange with Ease – COVID-19

If you or a member of your party are displaying COVID-19 symptoms or are required to self-isolate, you must not attend the theatre and all tickets in your booking will be exchanged or a gift voucher issued up to 24 hours prior to the performance. Tickets cannot be refunded after a performance has passed.

If the show is cancelled, will I get a full refund?

  • If we are required by any COVID-19 government guidance or restrictions to cancel a performance, tickets may be exchanged or refunded.

Poster, Flyer & Programme

For the Maskers

Technical Manager:- Jamie McCarthy;   Lighting Consultant:- Clive Weeks;   Sound Consultant:- Jamie McCarthy;   Marketing Team:- Angela Stansbridge, Anna Hussey, Abigail Caveney, Clive Weeks, Robert Osborne, Meri Mackney, Paul Baker;   Front of House & Box Office Manager:- Chris Baker;   Photographer:- Clive Weeks;   Bar Manager:- Meri Mackney

click on a photo to enlarge it


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Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

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