Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings

muddy cows head

The Muddy Cows

Muddy Cows

The Nonentities

Rose Theatre, Kidderminster


THE intimate setting of the studio at the Rose would hardly seem a fitting space for a play encompassing the spaces of a rugby training field and rugby matches through to the antics in the dressing room, but with great thought and imagination the Nonentities team brought it off.

Muddy Cows is another fine example of John Godber's talent for well-crafted portrayals of British Northern life. Here it’s the story of seven female rugby players; each battling hard, both with keeping their team together and their much maligned relationships.

Scarfield Ladies Rugby Club is struggling under the lack of support from the men’s club, with the ladies having to chip in a few pounds every week just to keep the team going. With no kit, no future and no matches it seems unlikely that they can continue but one last ditch attempt at playing in a sevens tournament might bring the glory they are seeking.

It falls to captain and trainer Maggie played by Louise Fulwell to rally the spirits. Maggie is committed to the team after losing her sister, who was another keen rugby player, to a brain tumour a few years earlier at the age of 25.

Now propped up with pain killers for a dodgy knee it seems the end of the road of her own playing days and Miss Fulwell brought a great deal of compassion to the part.

To make things worse her star player Jess, played by Georgie Taylor, has been tempted by an offer from a rival club. Jess is also under suspicion by Kim, played by Charlotte Mosley who suspects her of an affair with her philandering husband and together the paring brought great spirt to the envious back biting in the dressing room.

Then there’s solicitor Amber, played by Harriet Poulton, who sees the club as just an escape and a social event with no real ambition to take the game seriously. She panics when it seems they are about to enter the sevens competition knowing she will have to find some commitment to the team.

The power and strength in the line-up comes from Katy Bell as Fran and Hannah Tolley as Daisy also doubling up as Donna. Fran is the long suffering wife of her useless  husband,  doing all she can to avoid him at home  and  seems to have  an endless supply of `Dutch courage’ for the women  in the dressing room.

Daisy is a `couldn’t care less’ larger than life character chomping through an assortment of cakes and sandwiches and just gets on with the game without any complaint. Then finally there is Donna who either arrives late to training or simply just goes off on her own.

It’s really impossible to single anyone out in this great team effort in their individual performances and as a company. The play begins rather cleanly with no set, but as the ladies progress to match day, the mud and the smelly dressing room atmosphere rises to the great comical and dramatic effect. By the end everyone seemed to get into the spirt of the game and the play with much more passion and enthusiasm.

Directed by Chris Clarke, Muddy Cows is a tough ensemble piece to bring off needing good timing and a solid commitment to their well-drawn parts but the company never dropped the ball and in the end achieved it though a healthy dose of good old girl power. To 16-04-16

Jeff Grant


Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office on 01564 743745 or online at

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