Reality television is big business at the moment. Cameras go into all kinds of workplaces and settings in the service of entertainment.
Happily Ever After presents a mockumentary about the wedding planning business run by Frank (James Coare, who has also written the show) and Gary (Perry Pullman). This couple seem to live their lives arguing, bitching, and making as much money as possible from their brides.
This “episode” features the wedding of Jasmin (Emma Garnett) and the ever-absent Wayne, who have been referred by a friend satisfied with Happily Ever After’s service. “Remember, the fat girl!”, Frank calls to Gary, showing a slightly mean streak and a perfect personality for such shows.
If you watch the likes of Four in a Bed or Hotel Inspector you’ll recognise the form. Business owners who think they are the top of their trade but who are totally awful at everything.
Despite “Uncle” Frank soliciting concern about Jasmin’s big day, it will inevitably be a disaster. The modus operandi seems to be to empty the pockets of the hapless bride and groom. There are funny moments with assistant April (Amanda Davies) which could be expanded.
Frank and Gary’s idyllic union, which is anything but, has potential for expansion. Coare has created a strong (and slightly seedy) character for himself, but the others seem to get short shrift at times.
I did enjoy watching Happily Ever After, as it does have the feel of a documentary pilot turned on its head . However, the pacing was rather slow in some scenes.
I would have liked the play to follow both Jasmin and April to get their viewpoints on the situation. I would welcome a narrator to keep the viewer involved (think Dave Lamb on Come Dine With Me or Natalie Casey on Dinner Date).
Happily Ever After, from Better Day Productions, is streaming for free as part of the Online@TheSpace now. For more information, go here.