Dressed in matching pink tutus, t-shirts and sun visors, the cast of My Big Gay Italian Wedding are not hard to spot as they come bouncing through the doors. The hit Broadway musical about the chaotic family of a gay couple trying to tie the knot has finally made its way to UK shores and is making waves at the Edinburgh Fringe. And not just because of the tutus. So So Gay sits down for a chat with quite possibly the bubbliest, cutest cast at the Fringe.
SSG: Hi guys! So which Italians have we got?
Matthew Barksby: I play Gregorio, the jealous ex.
Grace O’Malley: I play Lucia.
Jill Regan: And I am Mercedes.
It’s not been the sunniest in Edinburgh. Has the wet weather been ruining your wedding day?
GO’M: The first day was pretty grim. We all thought we looked really cute in our little plimsolls, then we had to go wellie shopping.
MB: We do look great in wedding outfits and wellies.
Whats the worse thing that could go wrong on a wedding day?
MB: I went to one once with thunder and lightning all through the vows. At the point ‘does anyone object…’ dun, dun dun!
GO’M: God had a problem.
JR: None of my friends are getting married yet. Maybe I’m hanging around with spinsters.
GO’M: Weddings are a celebration, so usually if something goes wrong the alcohol makes it better.
How are your guests enjoying their wedding so far?
JR: Yeah, usually we have good audiences, don’t we, because people know what they are getting. People don’t think they are coming for Shakespeare. They’re ready for a party. Once we whack on our opening music it’s sort of like Dirty Dancing.
GO’M: You get welcomed in by the cast…
JR: …like a house party. It’s like a massive house party with too many chairs.
We’ve obviously had Big Greek weddings and Big Gypsy weddings, and now Big Gay Italian, but which would win in a big wedding battle royale?
All: BIG GAY!
MB: My character would take over the Greeks any day.
GO’M: There’s something fun about the Italian family. Something lovable. They’re all loudmouths. They’re all fiery and have their own characters.
MB: We even have Italian-speaking cast members.
GO’M: Yes indeed, I speak Italian.
What’s your favourite Italian phrase?
GO’M: Bellissimo. It just rolls off the tongue. Like sizzling sausages.
It’s a tender subject at the moment, but do you think this show helps fly the flag for gay marriage?
GO’M: It certainly opens windows.
JR: It could be a ‘not gay’ Italian wedding. Nothing makes it exclusively gay. It would be equally as affecting a story if it were heterosexual. I think audiences will realise the story is not about ‘being gay’.
GO’M: The audience relates to it. ‘I know that person. It could be my cousin or brother or gran.’ And if that was their cousin, and they were gay, they would have the exact same feelings.
MB: Some of the characters, like the mum and dad, relate to my parents. When I came out they were like ‘WHAT!?’ People can relate to it in that way. They come round in the end.
JR: There are far more shocking scenarios in the show than being gay.
GO’M: It’s more about being big and Italian.
The Broadway show was a huge hit, with guest cameos from the likes of ‘N Sync’s Lance Bass. Who would be your ideal cameo?
JR: I’d love Matt Lucas. I’d love him dressed as Bubbles from Little Britain. Obviously not naked.
MB: Just two hats for the nipples.
GO’M: And a bouquet!
They’re all feisty characters, but who would be the worst person to mess with?
JR: The mum, definitely the mum.
JR & GO’M: …or Mercedes.
MB: No, my character, Gregorio.
GO’M: Mercedes could take him.
JR: Mercedes would kill Gregorio. If nothing else happened in the play, Gregorio would die.
MB: Yeah, he would die.
Before you lay into each other, sum up the show in one word.
JR: There’s so many! …’Fabulous’.
My Big Gay Italian Wedding is playing at the Edinburgh Fringe, C Venues, Chamber Street Aug 3-22, 20:30; or follow them on twitter @MBGIWUK