The Leicester Square Theatre, London, U.K., March 4, 2015
Reviewed by Helen Theophanous for Cabaret Scenes
From a ten-minute 2006 musical, upon which a commission by the Lyric Theatre Belfast followed in 2010, Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory, as it was originally called, sold out a staged concert run in 2011.
Paul Boyd’s creation owes more than a nod to The Rocky Horror Show, which is not surprising as the late Christopher Malcolm, who was involved in Rocky Horror, influenced the development of Molly to its fully-staged version. Boyd worked with producer Jamie Chapman Dixon to stage an award-winning production at London’s Phoenix Arts Club which led on to the Leicester Square Theatre where it is playing to sold-out houses.
The book, music and lyrics, all written by Boyd, serve the production perfectly with a rich mix of humor, pathos, wit and all-around entertainment. The show is perfectly cast and the writing gives us three completely different couples living in a small town whose lives are transformed by the arrival of the mysterious stranger by the name of Ithankyou. The twists and turns, flashbacks and revelations about the characters and their extraordinary experiences captivate and engage us from start to finish.
The stellar cast make this show work so well. Cassie Compton, Stephanie Fearon, Jane Milligan, Conleth Keane, Christopher Finn, Ashley Knight, Alan Richardson and Russell Morton are genuinely all-singing and all-dancing powerhouses of talent. Sarah Johnston’s choreography, Matthew Reeve’s musical direction and Diego Pitarch’s design work wonderfully well in this confined space. The show is a delight, suited to the intimate setting of this theatre, but would still work in a slightly larger venue.