h

'Married at First Fight' highlights the heartwarming twists and turns of marriage

★★★

Married At First Fight is written by Adelaide-born comedy king, Matt Byrne. A hilarious take on the car crash 'reality' TV show that’s hard to take your eyes off, the spoof ties in the true meaning of real-life marriage with humour. 

Byrne and the talented cast of Rose Vallen, Brad Butvila and Amber Platten take you on a two-hour rollercoaster of emotion, depicting the ups and downs of marriage. From the nervous highs before the big day, the lows of potential cold feet and, of course, those stereotypical marital fights when hubby leaves the toilet seat up, or when hubby doesn’t fill and empty the dishwasher. I’m noticing a trend here.

The show offers the audience a synchronised dance and sing-along to popular songs with lyrical changes that will leave your cheeks sore with laughter. The cast of four take on an impressive total of ten characters, from the giddy couple, their concerned parents, the drunken Irish celebrant with a beer in hand and, of course, the bridesmaids ready to sleep with the best man.

The cast interact with the audience by asking for a show of hands on who is single, married or divorced. They praise the couple married the longest, giving everyone in the audience hope and leaving the divorcees cursing their ex under their breath. Ticketholders were also promised an unexpected wedding at the start of the show, and the cast well and truly deliver. Two unexpected singles from the crowd are paired up and treated to awkward wedding vows, a cheeky first kiss, first dance and free glass of sparkling. The wedding, however, was doomed to fail when the groom revealed to his new wife that he was here with his boyfriend — gasp.

It wouldn’t be a marriage without tugging some heartstrings, and the room's atmosphere totally changes when the characters open up about their heartache-filled journey of finding the one. Stories included a wife who ran off with the milkman, leaving her unsuspecting husband to lonely nights with the cat, Fluffy the Fifth, and a widow who lost her soulmate to cancer. Some things in life are unexpected and unplanned — even when everything seems perfect.

Married At First Fight reignites a spark inside those who are doubtful and still looking for 'the one'. When the cast recap their parents' long-lasting love stories and announce that actors Butvila and Platten are engaged, the audience is reminded there's no such thing as a perfect marriage, but you work through things and compromise the small things for love. There is still hope for all of us. I think.

Married At First Fight is running as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from Wednesday March 27 to Saturday March 30.