ED2013 4/5 Reviews ED2013 Theatre Reviews

The Cow Play (Smoke and Oakum Theatre)

By | Published on Friday 16 August 2013

The title is so predictable it’s unpredictable: it’s a play about a woman who slowly turns into a cow. It’s been stripped down since it was staged in Brighton, and we’re left with a naturalistic, well-acted three-hander that attempts to portray relationship tensions precipitated by serious illness. The play’s structure is interesting: what seems at first like a kitchen-sink drama (sample themes: domestic relationships, male friendships, and career-compromises) becomes a Kafkaesque excursion. The turning-point is wonderfully abrupt, and the humour very black indeed. The piece is perhaps less incisive than what Kafka himself might have written, and maybe it takes itself a little too seriously. However, its exploration of isolation, dislocation, depression and modern relationships is interesting, original, and surprisingly moo-ving.

C nova, until 26 Aug, 4.45pm.
tw rating 4/5 | [Arjun Sajip]