NOISES OFF (2014) - The Company in order of appearance.
Dotty - Barbara Vesty
Barbara joined Mad Cow for their production of The Producers in 2011, having seen their production of Move Over Mrs Markham she knew this was the company she wanted to be a part of, so auditioned and got in. She comes from a performance background and after directing and producing for many years thought it might be nice to get front of stage again. “My thanks to Alex and Lisa for giving me that chance”. Barbara thinks it is a great Company to be part of, with such a wide age difference within the group and all sorts of talent, “whatever you have got the Cows will use it!” For Barbara being part of Mad Cow Productions is a joy and a privilege. She enjoys the fact it is a totally voluntary group where everyone pitches in, “we all work hard because we love what we do”. This is Barbara’s seventh show with the Cows, and her dream role, such a lot to get her teeth into. Thanks, as always, to her ever supportive husband David who built our revolve.
LLoyd - Keith Clements
Born in the Red half of Manchester in 1960, he got a Mechanical Engineering degree and worked in various industries, before settling in Shropshire in 1989. A self-employed plumber since 2005 (all enquiries welcome – he doesn’t act for a living you know!) it is hardly the background of a typical thespian. Nevertheless, the gene is obviously strong enough to continue in eldest son, Ben, who is in the final year of a Professional Musicianship degree in Brighton. Younger son, Jack, has no performance inclination and like his mum, Gill, would not be dragged onto a stage. He’s pursuing a career in Keith’s other great passion – sport. Despite being an incurable show-off, its two years since Keith last appeared on stage, when he played MEP Philip Wardrobe in another Mad Cow farce, In the Club. It’s a genre he enjoys. If you want in innuendo, he’ll give you one!
Gary - Joshua Croft
Josh’s enjoyment of acting stems from his time in Dorrington Young Farmers where he enjoyed playing various characters from Blackadder to a very stereotypical West Country farmer in The Wurzels – The Musical! in the annual YFC drama competition. Now too old for Young Farmers, Josh joined Mad Cow in October 2012 in time for ensemble roles in Kiss Me Kate and then Crazy for You the following year. Josh loves the social aspect of the group, mixing with people from all different walks of life. He’s even appointed himself ‘unofficial social secretary’! This is Josh’s first lead role with Mad Cow and he’s enjoyed the challenge and hasn’t regretted giving up cricket for 1 season one bit! Off stage, Josh works locally for Wilstone House & Gardens. Any spare time when not acting, playing cricket (or golf or tennis), flying or shooting is spent with his very, very patient and supportive wife, Alex and their little boy, Lucius.
Brooke - Lucy Billau
Lucy has had a fabulous time rehearsing Noises Off! Despite having a relatively active job training Guide Dogs for the Blind, she felt, given Brooke’s stage attire, now might be a suitable time to address her cake and biscuit obsession head on. It has been a roller coaster few months for Lucy with some huge challenges along the way. Practising cafe obedience, with the trainee dogs, without a trusty slab of chocolate cake left her feeling quite deflated at times.. Lucy’s home renovations have recently left her without a kitchen sink and so having to run upstairs to wash salad leaves in the bathroom has been doubly frustrating. However here she is now, at Stockton Upon Tees, ready and raring to go! Lucy is not even sure a chocolate éclair will be enough to console her once this performance is finished....but it might be a good place to start!
Freddy - Robert Hinton
S(ard)ines, cosines and tangents! As Mad Cow regulars will know, we generally build our own sets for plays and for some musicals. This has been the eighth set that Robert has helped to build, but the first with two floors. The staircases have caused him to use trigonometry for the first time since Maths A-level. Fortunately for the cast, the design and build of the core revolving structure has been in better qualified hands than his.
Robert’s other role for MCP is as Treasurer. He is also chief walker of Gus, the family Briard, and enjoys the admiration that this beautiful dog invariably attracts when out and about.
In his spare time Robert is Financial Controller at Pork Farms Palethorpes in Market Drayton, where a great bunch of people unceasingly try to keep savoury pastry lovers happy, baking some 300 million sausage rolls annually and similarly vast quantities of pies and slices.
Belinda - Emma Hedges
Emma joined Mad Cow after googling ‘acting companies Shrewsbury…’ last Christmas. After not troubling the acting world since her teens she was reminded of how much she loved it after marrying a new man every year in the Corvedale panto in Ludlow. Emma moved to Shrewsbury two years ago with her husband Mike and children Mathew and Libby. After resisting the challenge to run a marathon she decided to seek out something she actually really liked doing which lead her to “the wonderful company that is Mad Cow”.
Being cast in Noises Off has meant several new things in Emma’s life – despite being hugely grateful to Alex and Lisa for the opportunity – she can now add ‘Set Builder’ (‘banger inner’ of tacks and holder of wood) to her CV, she can now run in girls shoes and the script has provided a wonderful shift change from Emma’s usual reading material in the bath…..
Poppy - Georgie Wright
Georgie is currently studying Performance Studies and Criminal Psychology at Shrewsbury Sixth Form. This is her third year and fourth show with Mad Cow and having been on the polar opposites of the casting radar, from a lead role to chorus, it’s safe to say she is hooked on every level! This is however Georgie’s first ever farce and one of her most difficult challenges yet! Although being around such amazing talent didn’t help calm the nerves, it did entertain, amaze and inspire her! Georgie’s plan is to go to university next year so this could be her first and last play with Mad Cow (for now!!) but she cannot exaggerate enough how many amazing and hopefully life-long friends she has made and how much she has learnt! Georgie has loved every second of creating this play and she hopes you enjoy watching it!
Tim - Harry Allmark
This is Harry’s first show with Mad Cow Productions and he is really looking forward to performing in this play with this cast. He says they have all worked so hard on the show and he hopes you’ll enjoy it as much as they have enjoyed doing it. Since being with Mad Cow Harry has learned so much about acting and performing. Listening to Alex, Lisa and fellow performers he feels as if he has improved as a performer. “They’ve taught me so much and I’m so grateful for the experience they’ve given me. I really hope you all enjoy the show, so sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of this evening.”
Selsdon - Stuart Main
Stuart was born and brought up in ‘Souf’ London. Father a ‘real’ cockney, mother a delivery biker….a real ‘Call the Midwife’.Trained in ‘Jack the Ripper’ territory, he now attempts to be a ‘Jack of all trades’ in DIY (in reality just a bodger), but mostly just a humble enamel sculptor.
Somewhat accident prone Stuart has sustained various broken bones down the years: arm, ribs, toes, pelvis, and a broken nose in a gang fight – Reggie and Ronnie such bad losers at conkers!
Whoever said ‘Don’t work with children or animals’ obviously never had the pleasurable experience of working and performing with the Mad Cows. Having had a long rest from Am-Drams when son and daughter arrived – both talented performers in music and drama respectively, with their encouragement father belatedly and foolishly attempts to emulate them, either playing saxophone or in productions such as this….thanks to a very tolerant wife!