Molly Wobbly

Pillows, baps, fun bags, whatever you decide to call breasts, Molly Wobbly is sure to have a word that appeals to you. And whilst this sounds like the punch line of a bad joke, it’s actually the lyrics to one of a series of hilarious songs featured in Molly Wobbly the Concert.

After starting life under the name of Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory as a staged concert in 2011 in Belfast, then a full-scale production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012, this intimate concert of the musical’s highlights in the West End’s Phoenix Artist Club is a hysterical night of lighthearted fun.

The concert stages the story of a town called Little Happening (on Mammary Lane to be exact), where three couples struggle to keep their failing businesses in check, and work through their loveless marriages. On one strange morning, the clocks all stop, and the newspaper announces that someone has bought the abandoned church in the village. A mysterious man named Ithanku soon appears and the town’s lives begin to change pretty drastically.

In the intimate space of the Phoenix Artist Club, (only 60 seats) the show fills the space easily, and so too does the elaborate story by Paul Boyd. It flows freely into 90 minutes of jam-packed singing by an extraordinary talented cast. Hairspray’s Leanne Jones plays Margaret, a woman with a dream of becoming a fashion designer, who shines in her solo song ‘Designs by Margaret Brown’ with her beautiful, big voice. Jones is matched by on-stage husband Malcolm, played by Alastair Brookshaw (best known for Parade).

Christopher Finn’s Robbie and Kate England’s Ruth are high school sweetheart horologists struggling to keep their sex life alive, Robbie often exclaiming that his wife is too demanding since he bought her a dishwasher last week. They too crack the audience up, especially during ‘Presbyterian Minister’s Wife’, Ruth having offended many by saying the F-word in the manse.

Conleth Kane and Lucy Garrioch as Jake and Jemma respectively, take the stage as a mismatched Irish pair of hairdressers, Jake often displaying his much more camp side to the audience, as well as some amazing Beyonce-style riffing. Jordan Lee Davies as Kitten and Russell Morton as the quirky Ithanku dramatise two extraordinarily unusual characters, but they play their parts to such extremes that the audience cannot help but love them.

When the whole group sings in the songs joyful harmonies, it becomes an absolute treat for the ears. The catchy, quirky lyrics are just the right balance of hilarious and serious, and I even found myself humming them on my exit.

Chock full of innuendos, crass humour, and more camp than a row of tents, Molly Wobbly in Concert is just a joyous, fun evening at the theatre. If you want to laugh your head off, and listen to some of the West End’s finest performers, this is the show for you.

Molly Wobbly the Concert is playing at the Phoenix Artist Club until 19 March. For more information and tickets see the Molly Wobbly website. Photo by Jamie Scott-Smith.