Molly Wobbly tells the tale of the residents of Mammary Lane in the town of Little Happening. It’s not a subtle show, and you can grab a pretty good sense of the plot from the place names alone – nothing is happening, and then there is something to do with breasts. The musical revolves around three couples, whose varying marital issues are not helped by the dullness of their town or the failing of their respective businesses due to lack of customers. The women in particular feel that they are not living the lives they wanted, but just as they are all lamenting after their dashed dreams, a new man appears in town. This Romanian born, green-haired eccentric named Ithanku (played commendably by Russell Morton) helps the women to see exactly what they are missing in their lives – and it is, you guessed it, something to do with breasts.
But whilst the women find exactly what they want to be, Molly Wobbly itself seems to have a bit of an identity crisis going on. The women look like they’ve come straight out of Whoville with their multi-coloured wigs, but as the aesthetic isn’t consistent throughout the show it all just looks a bit out of place. The tone of the musical is just as confused, and this is particularly unsatisfying. The second half makes no apologies for its ridiculousness: it takes place in a tit factory, features dancing nuns, and reveals the truly absurd back-story of the mysterious Ithanku. This side to Molly Wobbly is funny, light-hearted and nicely raunchy, and will certainly please an off-West End crowd looking for a fun way to spend an evening. But the first half starts Molly Wobbly off on a bad foot, with jokes that get little more than titters, and a predictable set-up that takes far too long to get to the point.
Paul Boyd, the writer, composer and director, has written over 20 musicals, and it shows in his assured musical numbers. A particular stand-out song has to be Kitten’s x-rated ‘One Night Stand’, which has enough sexual explicitness in it to give your grandma a heart attack, but which had me laughing all the way through and wishing that Kitten (a drag queen played gloriously by Alan Richardson) had a bigger role in the show. There are things to like about Molly Wobbly, and with a little reworking it could become a weird and wonderful musical perfect for those looking for something a little different. But unfortunately it misses the mark in the first half and fails to live up to its potential.
Molly Wobbly is playing at Leicester Square Theatre until 14 March. For tickets and more information, see the Leicester Square Theatre website.