Walking into the theatre, I was greeted by the selfie-taking, non-stop texting usher who told me “We had a small fire earlier and that’s why there’s a bit of smoke. Everything should be good … but if your chair breaks please don’t sue us.”
Don’t worry – he’s apart of the show.
When the lights went down, an old cinematic countdown began on the screen and I began to hesitate if I was seeing a theatre production or a movie. But alas, this great intro included in-the-flesh actors, and the show began.
The story takes place in the small town of Little Happening, when a strange and unknown neighbor moves into an old abandoned church. This unknown, green-haired, creepy little fellow makes a few visits to some of the women, only to provide a new outlook to life and what it could be. The clocks stop, and everything is turned upside down when this anonymous man arrives with his plans create a factory that is set out to ‘lift’ the spirits of the folks in town.
The script is loaded with puns, one-liners, and euphemisms, as well as an array of craziness throughout the show – a few bare bums, an angel in drag, and a lot of chest are just a few things you’ll be seeing during your evening with Molly Wobbly.
It was a stellar cast with plenty of West End names and their voices only stood by their great careers. Cassie Compton, Stephanie Fearon, and Jane Milligan play the women of the town, and each play their role with fantastic character. The ladies’ husbands, played by Conleth Kane, Christopher Finn, and Ashley Knight, are a great trio that deserves credit for most of the laughs with their hysterical group numbers.
Alan Richardon and Russell Morton, though, are the ones to watch; Alan shows true skill in role-change, as he plays multiple different characters from pre-show until curtain down, and Russell creeps around the stage with a great presence while also creating a connection with the audience.
Overall, it was a fantastic night from start to finish. The show was weird and creepy, while also being hilarious and uplifting, and not many shows are known to be able to accomplish this. The tear-induced laughs from the crowd that took over the tiny theatre throughout the entire production gave the message that there was no more proof needed that the evening was enjoyed by all in attendance.
Molly Wobbly’s is playing at the Leicester Square Theatre until 14 March 2015.
Reviewed by Caitlin O’Shaughnessy
Photo: Darren Bell