By Ben Elton
Directed by Maryanne Cathro
Season: 26 September - 6 October 2007
A comic revenge tragedy from the master of comedy
Doris Wallace, bitchy queen of the tabloid press, is on the verge of a glorious venture in TV. She’s not going to let anything get in her way, not even the “silly cow” suing her for libel. Any skeletons she may have in her cupboard are, like her bondage gear, firmly locked up — or so she thinks.
Wickedly funny satire
Ben Elton’s wickedly funny satire on the slick and savage world of the tabloid press portrays a protagonist who has clawed her way to success and celebrity as a merciless and vicious critic. No star of the stage is safe from the barricade of barbs unleashed from her smoking keyboard; the bold and brassy Doris takes no prisoners, and makes no bones about it — “When the dogs are eating the dogs you have to make damn sure you’re the biggest bitch at the table”.
Machiavellian plot brewing
Every dog has its day though, and Doris, who’s practically self-tanning in her own reflected glory, is in for a surprise. Coolly unconcerned by the libel suit brought by one of her hapless victims, she swans about her apartment like a queen amongst her retinue of sycophants, swapping insults with seedy editor Sid, patronising her Latino toy boy and being organised by her overly officious secretary and accountant. Even she cannot comprehend the truly machiavellian plot brewing in the wings.
Described by its author as a “comic revenge tragedy”, Silly Cow is classic Elton — a fast-paced, rapid-fire rollick. The characters spar with such eviscerating wit it’s a wonder they don’t cut themselves.
“I love this play,” says director Maryanne Cathro. “I seeth at the stupidity of the tabloid press who make their fortunes sticking cameras up celebrity skirts, so Silly Cow is almost an act of catharsis for me. Plus it’s really, really funny. It is Ben Elton as we love him best — the Young Ones and Blackadder sort of comedy that my generation grew up with.
Doris —A ngela Reeves
Sid — Danny Broom
Eduardo — Jesse Hobbs
Peggy — Marilyn Ollett
Douglas — Peter Miller
XPH Xpress Printing House is proud to support this production as principal sponsor.