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All Because Of Molly (Tour - Salford)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Jaime likes fairies and Casey likes catapults, but the two girls become lifelong friends, brought together by their shared hatred of school bully Molly. Their heartwarming story switches between the past and the present, where their friendship has been put to the ultimate test.

Paul Ferguson's script is warm and funny, making great use of small motifs that become significant later in the girls' friendship. Laura Lindsay is excellent as Casey, giving such a natural comedy performance that the dark, emotional scenes that follow are unexpected, but really pack a punch. There are also great performances from the supporting cast, particularly Christabel Brown in a variety of roles from Jaime's male teacher to the best friends' nemesis, Molly.

The depiction of the two friends' shared childhood is entertaining, but the play really hits its dramatic stride during Jaime and Casey's teenage years, a particular highlight being an intimate exchange about tampons on a school camping trip. While hilarious, the scene is also hugely poignant as we are gently reminded that Casey is motherless – Jaime really is all she has.

The play's dual time-frame is an interesting device, but ultimately the present day scenes often serve to break up the action, rather than move it along. This may partly be due to the fact that the present day story is intentionally veiled in mystery, so as not to detract from the play's shocking climax – but essentially it feels as if the “real” story is occurring in the past, where Jaime and Casey are characters rather than narrators. 

Nonetheless, the vignettes of the past build up a compelling portrayal of friendship and the girls' story at the heart of All Because Of Molly is undeniably moving.

- Harriet Judd


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