Satirical New Year

January 15th 2019
By: Melanie Hollidge
Satirical New Year

If you need a bit of satire to liven up your St Albans New Year Ben Elton’s play, Silly Cow, originally starring Dawn French, is a laugh-out-loud show. And it’s on at St Albans Abbey Theatre from Friday 18th and Saturday 19th January 2019, at 8 pm, Sunday 20th January, at 2.30pm and from Tuesday 22nd until Saturday 26th January at 8 pm. Tickets cost just £12 and there are concessions available for £11, produced by St Alban’s very own Company of Ten.

Ben Elton who is also behind comedy gems such as Blackadder, The Young Ones created Doris Wallace,  a tough tabloid columnist who has everything any girl could want: a toy boy with a handy supply of drugs, a pretty PA who might share her libidinous preferences, and the prospect of her own TV show. But for some reason, everything starts to go horribly wrong. The Stage called this ‘a cracker of a play’ while the Daily Mirror called it ‘crude, clever and killingly funny.’ 

There is now a thriving arts community with numerous venues in St Albans and Harpenden but it was not always so. Back in 1932 many St Alban’s venues had shut. But Arthur Swinson and Terry Newell decided to create a performance group, calling it the Company of Ten.

Steadily the Company of Ten survived and thrived. Their first production was staged in November 1934 and The Herts Advertiser said, ‘For a first production, the play was outstanding both in the quality and of acting and staging… it is easy to prophesy that the Company will forge ahead’.

It did until it could finally raise enough money for the building of a new theatre.The foundation stone of the first purpose-built theatre to be built in St Albans since Roman times was laid by Sir Michael Redgrave in 1967. The Company is stronger than ever redevelopment of Abbey Theatre continues to share St Alban’s theatrical talent.