Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory

Paul Boyd's musical comedy is a five-star romp 'populated with sleazy, strutting grotesques'

Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory is practically criticism-proof. Sure, you can slap glib taglines on it – a Rocky Horror Show for the beauty industry; Carry On Screaming in a Belfast gay bar; Mrs Brown's Boys directed by John Waters – but essentially it's just good, dirty fun for any fan of comedy musical theatre whose brow is stuck to the bottom of their shoe.

I catch Paul Boyd's saucy spectacular as it nears the end of previews at Belfast's Lyric Theatre, ahead of an Edinburgh Festival Fringe run the following week. The high-energy, high-camp production is unlike the usual fare that grimaces its way onto the Northern Ireland stage.

The fact that Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory isn't about the Troubles, makes no mention of the Titanic and doesn't feature a cameo from Terri Hooley would be enough to warrant a glowing review. But when you consider it's clever, funny and sharply executed, you're looking at five stars – pink, glittery stars at that.

The show takes place in a backwoods called Little Happening, where a mysterious stranger has moved into a derelict church, converting it to the titular factory, with a plan to enrich the townsfolk's dreary lives through the media of song, dance and extreme plastic surgery. Soon, the newcomer's malevolent influence takes hold over the buttoned-up local women – and men – who begin to lose their inhibitions, and their clothes...

The script boasts a barrage of puns, ranging from the obvious ('Mammary Lane') to the slightly more slow-burning. 'I'm a country member,' announces one frumpy female character. 'Yes, I remember,' mutters her husband.

The dialogue is a riot, as are the catchy, witty musical numbers, notably one that recounts a multitude of slang terms for breasts, and a magnificently ripe piece sung by the Riff Raff-style henchman Kitten, played by Lyric stalwart, Tommy Wallace. Indeed, this ode to sordid one-night stands is so hilariously explicit it makes you wish the rest of the show was too, rather than being merely smut-laden.

To be honest, the plot does, er, wobble a little towards the end, but by then Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory has built up such goodwill that you're prepared to go with it. And the cast do a great job of bringing Boyd's colourful creations to life.

In Russell Morton's clutches, the main character, a sinewy, sinister scientist – whose name I won't spoil – comes across like Kenneth Williams playing Gollum, snaffling the audience's attention each time he appears. Also good value are Conleth Kane, as the repressed homosexual hairdresser Jake, and Tara Flynn, as his wife Jemma, whose dowdy dress and oversized glasses tip us off that a makeover is imminent.

Boyd's work is a shameless romp populated with sleazy, strutting grotesques, yet the oddest sight at tonight's performance is perhaps the elderly lady in the audience wearing what looks like her Sunday best, who leaves the theatre at the end with the aid of a walking stick. Quite what she may have mistaken this brazenly-titled affair for is anyone's guess, but she seemed to enjoy it. So, not just for filth merchants, then.

On a side note, it's nice to see the show's makers putting their money where their potty mouths are. All royalties from the sale of Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory merchandise goes to the Terrence Higgins Trust.