Saturday, 25 August 2012

Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory - Review

Assembly Rooms. Edinburgh

****
Book, music & lyrics by Paul Boyd




Russel Morton as Ithanku

Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory at the Assembly Rooms is a delightfully irreverent show that arrived in Edinburgh following a week’s debut run in Belfast. Smutty, vulgar and excellently performed, it draws upon a Carry On style of humour, and if the title wasn't warning enough, is best viewed by non-prudent adults.

Set in the sleepy village of Little Happening, the lives of three (un)happily married women are turned upside down when a green headed character, Ithanku, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Shock Headed Peter  ( he is named Ithanku for reasons too long to explain in this review)  and who possesses mysterious powers, buys a derelict building on Mammary Lane (snigger snigger).

If this all sounds a tad like The Witches of Eastwick, well in parts that's true, however rather than setting out to seduce the women of the town, Ithanku's mission is to augment their breasts. Much as in the way that Goldilocks was presented with three bowls of porridge of differing volume, so are the audience presented with three divas of varyingly sized decolletages.  Leanne Jones, an outstanding actress famed for exploiting her fleshy proportions as Tracy Turnblad in the West End's Hairspray, leads the line as beautifully voiced and largest breasted woman Margaret, the town's dressmaker. The medium sized lady in the cast is Tara Flynn who plays Jemma, married to an (inevitably) gay hairdresser, whilst Orla Gormley is Ruth, the smallest chested of the three, married to the town’s clock and watchmaker, having previously been wed to a man of the cloth. Her number, Presbyterian Minister's Wife, looking back to an episode in that marriage when she "shouted f*ck in the manse", is one of the show's lyrically comical highlights.

There is not a weak performance amongst the cast and in a production that appears to have been staged on a tight budget (shame about the music having been pre-recorded) the strength of the show lies within the talent on stage. Tommy Wallace, as camp character Kitten, is a riot in heels and lipstick, especially with his song Guardian Angel and Russell Morton delivers a fine turn as Ithanku, a bad-guy with some really complex issues.

Irish writer Paul Boyd has put together a crackingly camp confection of saucy jokes, rude songs and fine performances that include at one time or another, all of the cast in their underwear. He pokes fun at most strands of Christianity and also lifts the floormat on a number of taboos and social mores and in so doing creates a fun night out at the theatre. The show deserves a transfer to a London off-West End venue, ideally one that has an understanding of staging musical theatre, to share its filthy fun with a wider audience. A possible cult following awaits.

Runs until August 26th

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