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Tit Factory axed at eleventh hour

PUBLISHED: 10:15 26 September 2013 | UPDATED: 10:15 26 September 2013

The cast photo of 'Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory' was taken during a press call on stage just minutes before the shock announcement was made.

The cast photo of 'Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory' was taken during a press call on stage just minutes before the shock announcement was made.

Archant

A theatre show - billed by critics as the edgiest production since Rocky Horror and Jerry Springer - made history when it was axed just hours before the curtain was due to go up.

Gary Wilmott in Molly Wobbly's Tit FactoryGary Wilmott in Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory

Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory was booked in for a two-week run at the Hackney Empire commencing Friday night, before “unforeseen financial difficulties” pulled the plug before the premiere.

A press call took place that morning – but by noon the cast, musicians and crew were told they had lost their jobs because an investor withdrew his promise of funding at the eleventh hour.

Heartbreaking

Presenter of 80s BBC children’s quiz show So You Want To Be Top, Gary Wilmot, was due to star in the show which takes a sardonic swipe at society’s obsession with flawless beauty and surgical enhancements.

The show was first performed three years ago in Belfast and enjoyed a successful stint at the Edinburgh Festival before it its London debut was commissioned.

Fellow actor Conleth Kane, who has played hairdresser Jake since the show began three years ago, said the cast had been left “devastated and unemployed.”

“It was a very dark atmosphere at the Hackney Empire, a very low sad feeling. We just stood there in our costumes with our microphones on, having just done three weeks of hard rehearsals,” he said.

“It’s been my own personal ambition to play a leading role on the London stage since I was a kid, for the rug to be pulled from beneath my feet within hours of that happening is just unbelievable.

“This could have been a career turner for me, I’m now trying to tide myself over.”

He continued: “Despite the sting in the tail I have 100 per cent faith that this show could be one of the biggest cult musicals to hit London if someone ever gave it a chance.

“It’s original, it’s cheeky it’s naughty and it’s absolutely hilarious, and I’ve never seen a show where the audience are waiting to jump off their chairs at the end to give a standing ovation. It really is electric.

“What’s ironic is the show is now getting more press than it’s ever got,” he added.

Writer Paul Boyd said he wouldn’t rule out that the investor’s reason for pulling out was because there wasn’t “enough public buzz” about the show.

“I think people who don’t work in the theatre have unrealistic expectations about what a marketing team can achieve prior to a show opening. There was no reason to suspect we were getting any less coverage than we were due,” he said. “We were ready to open, which was the heartbreaking point.

“I hope we can get this show out there. The support we have has been unlike anything I have experienced over the last 20 years.”

The venue in Mare Street is trying to find another show to fill the gap.

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