Silly Cow Review

Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group

Silly Cow by Ben Elton  12-14 May 2011

Silly Cow, set in the 1990s revolves around Doris Wallis, a scathing tabloid columnist and TV critic who is being sued for libel by actress Trudi Hobson for defamation of character and criticism, which has ruined her career.

The action takes place in Doris’s penthouse flat, which was well set, well dressed with some nice appropriate period touches giving the appearance of chaotic opulence.

It was brilliant casting putting Andrea Spencer in the leading role of Doris. She was confident gave a strong performance and was definitely in command, with great stage presence. Her accent was good and well maintained, although I detected slight shades of Victoria Wood on occasions. A faultless, animated performance that had us all spellbound, particularly in ‘that’ costume!

Peggy (Emily Eastham) Doris’s P.A. and confidante was a good support and contrast to Doris. I was completely fooled into thinking that this excellent performance was under-played to the flamboyant Doris, but what a transformation when she turns out to be the wounded Trudi Hobson, very much taking control of the situation wreaking revenge upon the emasculated Doris. Superb contrast and performance.

Doris is being persuaded to sign an agreement to work in Germany for Sidney (Michael Lacey) and give up her job in England. Doris’s plans for a new TV show fall into his hands due to a mix-up with envelopes, which comes back to haunt her, when Sidney turns out to be another of hr slated actors. Michael’s transformation from the hard-drinking putative editor of a German tabloid to wronged north country actor was striking, as was the change from Doris’s street-wise toy-boy, Eduardo (Mike Parker) to victimised juvenile actor from the ‘ravioli ads’. It was good to see new talent emerging for KBDG and he played this supporting role very well. Firstly, as the amoral toy-boy then turning into the wounded actor. Eduardo’s drug supplying exploits turn sour for Doris when her wrap of cocaine is sent to her accountant, Douglas (Nick O’Keefe), by mistake. Douglas, of course, turns out to be another of Doris’s victims and fakes being murdered, following an impressive, frenzied attack by Peggy. Nick’s solid and dependable performance fooled us all into believing his accountant role.

The whole cast had a good relationship with each other, which this, the costumes and the set contributed to quality of this production. Unfortunately, the acoustics of the hall led to some of the dialogue being lost from one or two of the cast.

Congratulations to the director, Rob Bateman for his directing debut, following many stage appearances. And what a debut this was!  A good choice of play, which a competent cast pulled off with a great success.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Nigel James