Tracking her life from destitute childhood into the rich pinnacle of middle age through to her humbled old age, the story of Moll Flanders is sprawling and tumultuous and Edinburgh Theatre Arts (ETA) have been brave in taking on a production of this play.
Under the hand of Claire Luckham it was originally adapted from the Defoe’s 18th-century novel into a musical. ETA keep some of the songs but have opted out of musical accompaniment, and in choosing to recite rather of sing some of the lyrics they somehow lose a sense of the rambunctious nature of the heroine’s life.
The cast is well led by Suzie Marshall, who captures the naughtiness of Moll with a vivacious charm. There are moments when the task of compressing such a long narrative results in clunky shifts between different time periods and locations, but the whole cast should be praised for the energy and focus that they sustain throughout this weighty production.