The moments of apparent normality all help punctuate the moments where Molly goes off the rails and the result is a production that always keeps you on your toes
This year, Squint presents Molly – a show investigating the mindset of a sociopath with eerie echoes of the things you might see in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror. Slick, dark and unsettling, Molly is enthralling from the off.
Set in what outwardly seems like a placid game show, the play takes the opportunity to explore Molly’s memories to find out what made her the way she is…and to help her remember what she has chosen to forget. The portrayal of teenage Molly by Lizzie Clarke is terrifyingly convincing. Manipulative and with a disturbing lack of empathy, she flits through life with a slightly slasher smile occasionally creeping onto her face. The moments of apparent normality all help punctuate the moments where Molly goes off the rails and the result is a production that always keeps you on your toes.
The rest of the acting ensemble – Geoff Arnold, Rhys Isaac-Jones, Fran Regis and Louisa Roberts – are all excellent. They work seamlessly and selflessly as a group, jumping into the story as a wide variety of characters and pulling off entertaining pieces of physical theatre. A giant projected clock portraying the time left to the forgotten ‘incident’ at the end of the play is used to great effect. The tech team must receive much appreciation for their near-perfect timing of light and sound cues, further heightening the experience of the play.
My one quibble – it’s slightly too long. Running at an hour and 20, it feels like we could have lost 10 minutes without much of an issue. A sequence to music in the middle of the play showing Molly growing up from high-school age to her late 20s goes on for just a bit too long. Similarly, the ending is drawn out for a while. When it seems like the clock is counting us down to the pivotal moment, it keeps on being put off through constant interruptions. By this point it’s fairly clear what’s about to happen and though the first interruption could be said to heighten the tension, the same cannot be said for the subsequent ones.
Overall however, Molly is a stunning piece of theatre and definitely worth a watch, particularly for those who feel that their lives have been far too peaceful and cheerful recently.