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Mad Cow ReviewerReviews

Here are some reviews of our previous productions.

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Reviews - The Game's Afoot

Claire Dunn

The Games Afoot


Claps of thunder, cracks of lightning - and a chilling scream.

It can only mean one thing - those Mad Cows are back at Shrewsbury's Theatre Severn - and this time with a bang, a gunshot and a whole heap of trouble!

Their curtain has gone up on their latest production - Ken Ludwig's The Game's Afoot - a clever whodunit with many a delicious twist and turn.

There was murder, mystery, mayhem - and even Moriarty in the West End last night! And the audience joined the impeccable cast on a tumultuous journey to discover just who had dunit!
The play opened in the Walker Theatre - the perfect setting for this drawing room masterpiece. When the curtain rises - we see actor William Gillette - excellently portrayed by teacher Paul Fitzgerald - in full flow on stage as sleuth Sherlock Holmes. But as he takes a bow with the cast as the curtain goes down - a shot rings out, and a bullet hits his arm.

The next time we see him, he is recovering with his mother. It is Christmas Eve and the whole case - including Lucy Billau as Aggie Wheeler, Natalie Wyatt as Madge Geisel and Joe Phillips as Simon Bright - have been invited to join him to celebrate.

But there is more to his invitation than first meets the eye. He is convinced that one of them was behind the attempted murder - and in true Sherlock Holmes fashion - he sets out to uncover the truth, along with a little help from the rather eccentric Inspector Goring - played by Emma Hedges.

And as with every good whodunit - nothing is as it first seems - and then a real murder ensues! But who is the killer?

A rollercoaster ride of detective work, comedy moments and some very clever acting makes this a production that just cannot be missed. All of the cast completely immersed themselves in their roles, right down to the American accents.

Emma Burrows is fabulous as the acid-tongued newspaper columnist Daria Chase - and all credit to the wonderful Barbara Vesty as Martha Gillette - a grandmother on her ninth production with the 'cows'. The scene where William Gillette and his best friend Felix Geisel - played by the fantastic Keith Clements - attempt to hide the victim's body, is hilarious - not to mention the eventual demise of the murder victim!

It's hard to believe that it is the first time on stage for some of the cast - but for this herd of clever so-and-so's, it was merely elementary!

Reviews - Hairspray


Claire Dunn


There was a thunderous roar of applause in Shrewsbury over night! Nothing to do with the football - but a Herd of singing and dancing cows!

This, though, was no ordinary herd – this was Mad Cow Productions. They brought the house down with their latest production, Hairspray at Theatre Severn.

And boy did they deserve it. This Shrewsbury-based theatre group, have produced another epic moo-sical performance.

They took a Broadway show, shook it up and hair sprayed the audience with the feel good factor. We were transported back to 1962 America, high school – and the era of big hair do’s! Fantastic costumes, incredible scenery, fabulous choreography – and impeccable casting.

Robyn Marsh in the lead role as Tracy Turnblad was faultless! Her performance had the audience on its feet. Note perfect, it was as though the role of Tracy had been made for her – and this was her first performance as part of the  herd!

James Ashfield as her mother Edna Turnblad was also stand out, along with Ahmed Hamad as Seaweed (again another debut for the cows).

And Yvonne Morris as Motormouth Maybelle – discovered by director Alex Hinton under a hairdryer in a salon in Shrewsbury – proved a fantastic find!

I think I may have said this before about the first ever show I saw by Mad Cow Productions several years ago – this is amateur theatre at its best (though quite frankly there is nothing amateur about this or any of their productions).

I didn’t think they could get any better – then they go and stage Hairspray. Slick, colourful and thoroughly enjoyable.

If you are one of the lucky ones who have bought a ticket already – great choice.

And if you haven’t – hurry up – you may be about to miss an incredible evening of song and dance – for there are only a few tickets left.

Can’t wait to see what those Mad Cows come up with next.


Reviews - Noises Off

Just Moo-vallous: Mad Cows’ Noises Off! A fabulous farce

Claire Dunn - Shrewsbury Today

It had everything – comedy, a fabulous cast and a great set. It can only be those Mad Cows again!

Noises Off Set

They presented Michael Frayn’s udderly hilarious Noises Off! at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn to mark their tenth anniversary year.

And by jove – what a show!

Mad Cow Productions, led by director Alex Hinton and Lisa Lowarch, have struck gold with this one.

You quite simply would never have known you were watching an amateur production.

Every performer - from plumber to student – wholly embraced their characters and every one delivered their lines with superb comedic timing. They brought the house down at opening night last night. I was in total stitches.

The cast was Barbara Vesty as Dotty, Keith Clements as Lloyd, Joshua Croft as Gary, Lucy Billau as Brooke, Robert Hinton as Freddy and Emma Hedges as Belinda. They were joined by Georgie Wright as Poppy, Harry Allmark as Tim and Stuart Main as Selsdon.

Noises Off is a play within a play – and takes the audience on a hilarious journey following a cast of actors starring in their own production of Nothing On.

It starts by introducing the characters and their relationships during rehearsals for their show and we quickly discover they are hopelessly under prepared.

Act Two goes behind the scenes one month into the show’s run and reveals the characters’ deteriorating relationships. Pure slapstick!  There are hilarious consequences by Act 3 which concludes the 10 week tour of Nothing On and their final performance is reduced to a total farce!

Noises Off! is a right romp from start to finish – a joy to watch.

To say the Mad Cows have put everything into this show is an understatement – in fact the cast even helped build the set, no easy feat.

I can see another Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community hoofing its way to these Mad Cows! This show deserved to be a complete sell-out!

Reviews - Crazy For You

Mooo-ve Over Broadway

By The Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury-based amateur theatre group Mad Cow Productions last night brought the house down at Theatre Severn with an “udderly” dazzling performance of the Gershwin musical Crazy for You.
They brought America’s Wild West to Shrewsbury’s west with this glamorous and uber-energetic show. And it was amateur theatre at its very best.

It had everything you would expect from a Broadway musical – slick, colourful costumes, stunning scenery, fabulous props and even a live orchestra.

The cast gave their all and delivered thoroughly professional performances - and looked like they thoroughly enjoyed doing so.

Theo Millward and Georgie Wright were perfectly cast in the lead roles of Bobby Child and Polly Baker.

You would never know that it was talented Georgie’s first lead role – no first-night nerves for her – or that she is actually studying for her A-levels. Cowboy hats off to them!

It’s hard to believe the “herd” could outdo last year’s fabulous production of Kiss Me Kate. But they did – with cow bells on.

And perfect timing too for Mad Cow Productions is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

When it comes to putting on a show, Mad Cow Director Alex Hinton and choreographer Lisa Lowarch have certainly got the Midas touch.

They, and their cast, have put their heart and souls over the last six months into this production - and it shows. This is some moo-sical.

So go on, get your ticket and get down to Deadrock, Nevada. They deserve your support.


Claire Dunn

Reviews - Kiss Me Kate

Phew! Shrewsbury's West End Is Positively Swealtering!

By The Shropshire Star

But it wasn’t the long awaited sunshine that sent the thermometer soaring - it was a production of Kiss Me Kate at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn last night.

And boy that show is just too darn hot!

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