Marian raps The Wedding Singer

It’s not every day an acting veteran is asked to do a rap song, but Perth actor Marian Byrne will be doing just that when the celebrated musical The Wedding Singer comes to Perth next month through Drew Anthony Creative and Planet Royale.

Marian, who has just turned 70, says she is looking forward to playing Rosie the grandmother of show lead, Robbie (Greg Jarema). Her role was made famous by Ellen Albertini Dow in the 1998 movie version starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

Video of the rapping grandmother went viral at the time and is often included in highlights of the greatest movies when the little old lady busts out a rap.

“I’m involved in about five or six scenes in the show and it will be so much fun,” Marian said.

Born and raised in Ireland, Marian has lived in Australia for the past 42 years. She is a down-to-earth dedicated actor who has enjoyed and made the most of every role which came her way both in Ireland and Australia.

“We are really thrilled to have enticed Marian on stage to perform this wonderful rap,” says Drew Anthony. “Marian is a great actress, a good natured and good humoured lady.

“When I approached her to play this role, she said, ‘I can’t rap’ and I said, ’we will figure this out’ and so she embraced the challenge. The rap song will be a highlight.”

Drew says The Wedding Singer, set in the 80s, hasn’t been seen often by Perth audiences. “It has never toured here professionally so this will be the first class production of the show done in Perth and we are all very excited about that.

“It’s such a popular film and there’s a lot of affection for it. The first theatre production was in 2006 so it hasn’t been around for very long and is still considered a new musical.

“It’s just so vibrant, a real time-piece which captures the 80s. The music is fantastic and all the songs enhance the storyline.

“The costumes will be very 80s and I think people will laugh out loud when they see some of them.”

The Wedding Singer revolves around the character of Robbie Hart the best wedding singer in his area; the best such singer that has ever been and he’s looking forward very much to his own wedding.

But he gets dumped in the aisle and goes into a depressing tailspin until he meets a young waitress Julia Sullivan (Kate Sisley), who is about to marry a not-very-nice Wall Street banker type and so one thing leads to another.

“It’s a lovely rom-com with a very entertaining storyline and you get to meet lots of interesting characters along the way, including the wonderful George based on Boy George the pop singer who looks like Boy George in character and demeanour,” says Drew.

Drew says he has a great creative team working on his shows including Deanna Nishi, who has been a prolific wig designer in major theatrical musical productions around Australia.

“She retired to Perth and I worked with her a long time ago, for three years, on a national tour of 42nd Street. Someone suggested last year I get in touch with Deanna and then we realised our previous connection.

“She did the wigs for my last show Saturday Night Fever and is looking forward to creating these amazing 80s hairdos for The Wedding

“We have a great team of people who put all the costumes together, we are able to source many things for this show. If you walk into an op shop such as Vinnies there are so many 80s costumes from the padded jackets to the puffy sleeves and bright colours. 

“I think audiences, many of whom were in their prime in the 80s, will relate to the style of the show, the hairstyles and the costumes.”

Drew says like many musicals, there are about 20 songs in The Wedding Singer which goes into a tight, two-week rehearsal soon.

“We are looking back at a wonderful era, the 1980s, people who attend our show will be immersed in the 80s, hopefully enjoy the intimate 222-seat theatre and the high standard.”

The Wedding Singer, produced by Drew Anthony Creative, plays at Planet Royale Northbridge from July 17–28. Tickets at and