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Theatre Review: Molly Wobbly - Phoenix Artists Club ✭✭✭1/2



Phoenix Artists Club

Review by Duncan Brown

12th March 2014: Jamie Chapman Dixon should be commended for bringing back this quirky musical after the disappointment of last years sudden cancellation at Hackney Empire.

This staged concert performance works surprisingly well despite the limitations of the Phoenix Artists Club and the occasionally distracting hubbub of the adjacent bar.

The score by Paul Boyd is a glorious mix of catchy, quirky, accessible songs that most resemble the feel and exuberance of Avenue Q, particularly with their often cheeky and sometimes downright dirty lyrics and chirpy orchestrations.

Normally I would hate having fully pre-recorded music in a live show but here, understandably because of lack of space, it works remarkably well whilst never swamping the un-mic'ed singers.

The cast are all on top form, relishing their over the top characters as the dysfunctional residents of Mammary Lane in Little Happening, each having their chance to shine vocally and also contributing some great ensemble vocals. All credit to musical supervisor Matthew Reeve and musical director Simon Burrow for such attention to detail.

The first half of the show seems to mostly favour the girls as each are treated to a flashback by the mysterious and grotesque Ithankyou, played with relish by Russell Morton like something straight out of Rocky Horror.

The many stand out songs include Kate England's 'When I Shouted F*** in the Manse' and Leanne Jones' heartfelt 11 o'clock number 'Designed by Margaret Brown'

Special mention must also be made of Jordan Lee Davies' Kitten, a cross dressing guardian angel type, with 'This is not Goodbye' along with various fun cameos.

The biggest problem with the show is the story which is beyond bonkers and not really worth trying to explain here. Bizarrely the eponymous Molly Wobbly appears in only one shortish scene towards the end (a glamorous Lucy Garrioch). It feels uneven and unbalanced.

However it is still worth a visit for the music and cast alone especially if you enjoy your comedy rude, lewd and full of double entendres. Maybe this concert version is the perfect vehicle for the show.

✭✭✭1/2  stars

Listings Info
Show Dates - 10th 11th 12th 13th - 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th - 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th March (8pm start, run time approx 75mins)

 Tickets £10 (£8 Concessions) 

Tickets can be bought at www.mollywobbly.eventbrite.co.uk

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