Paul Boyd’s big, bold and brash musical is a tour-de-force of bad taste hilarity and is probably the campest thing you will see at the festival this year. Whilst there will be endless comparisons to the likes of Rocky Horror and Sweeney Todd, Molly Wobbly’s has a unique style all of its own and is more than just a spawn from the blueprints of previous offbeat musicals.
The show follows the bored inhabitants of the town Little Happening and charts how they react to a strange newcomer. As he stirs new plans to take over a deserted church, the creepy green-wigged figure visits some of the female members of the town and kick-starts a peculiar new lease of life for each individual. Admittedly not the most original of plotlines but the story comes second to the gloriously depraved and downright hilarious sequence of events that follow. From the off the show contains some toe-tapping musical numbers that are filled with sly humour and performed with gusto. This is very much an ensemble piece; each song is impeccably performed and each actor plays their part with gloriously wild characterisations that support the production as a whole. Every cast member gets a moment to shine but special mention has to go to Orla Gormley for her lanky physicality as the dumb horny blonde Ruth, Conleth Kane’s bitchy facial expressions as the questionably heterosexual Jake and Russell Morton’s slimy protagonist, who sleeks around the stage looking like a depraved Willy Wonka cardboard cut-out. Meanwhile, Tommy Wallace threatens to steal the show with a camp as Christmas show-stopping solo as Kitten, an assistant with the taste for the flamboyant. If you happen to be sitting anywhere near this “angel” when his solo begins, then do be prepared to be *ahem* touched.
The writing is fantastic; there are a number of lines in here that will be quoted for weeks to come. Although a very adult production, it’s more than just cheap innuendos (though it has a fair share) and the gag rate remains thick and fast. It’s also worth pointing out the production design, costumes and wigs emphasise the wacky essence of the production and there’s some cleverly designed lighting effects that add class to the piece as a whole.
As the tongue-in-cheek musical comes to a head it provides the audience with a happy ending, if a suitably morally deprived one. Having spent ninety minutes with the inhabitants of Little Happening, and grinning like the Cheshire Cat between the tear-inducing laugh-out-loud moments, I came to the conclusion that this show is probably the funniest and most enjoyable piece of theatre I have seen at the Fringe for some time. It’s the perfect afternoon’s entertainment that completely complies with the cheeky, fresh and vibrant style of the festival itself and I’m sure will become a firm favourite for those in the mood for something a little more sassy and daring.