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Cultivating MadCow

Testimonials & Feedback from Readthrough:


"A heartrending and brilliant play performed superbly by Penny Capper. An awareness raiser of great significance concerning mental health. A real story for our time. Wish I had written more about Penny. She was fabulous."

 Ruth Owen (Editor, Cultivating MadCow)


"I love the book, but the staging of it has really taken the work to a much higher level. Unbelievably emotive, fabulous turns of phrase, Sheffieldisms, Kathrynisms and humour and amazing warmth, conveying difficult and tragic subject matter. Penny, absolutely nailed Kathryn’s portrayal. I felt very choked in several places. It was interesting to see the effect it had on audience members who had not read the book. It’s absolutely magic. I cannot wait to see this play succeed."

 Mark Davies (Consultant, Sheffield Hospitals)


"Well done. Great work. Such a powerful story to base it on."

 Alex Usborne (MBE) (Producer, 104 Films)


"An absolute pleasure and I feel grateful to have seen it. Inspiring. I think it will be a huge success and we really can’t wait to make the film of the same story, now. It’s so powerful seeing the characters lifted from the written page and brought to life."

 Brian Hill (Director, Century Films)


"It was an honour to be part of such a wonderful reading. I was amazed by what could be achieved in the space and by Penny’s awesome talent. I was in tears, and laughed out loud. It made me angry too. An emotional rollercoaster. Fantastic."

 Sarah Jay Hawley (Singer/Songwriter Massive Attack)


"I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it was a true story, but not much more. What I saw was very powerful, very emotional, heartwarming, horrific, funny, graphic and astonishing. A tale of one woman’s decline from apparent normality to suicide attempt, via the rabbit hole of misdiagnosed, acute bi-polar disorder, to literal resurrection and her mission in life since. Remarkable, shocking and truly fantastic. I would strongly recommend it."

 John Atkinson (Co-founder, Penny Dreadful Cabaret)


"Brilliant. Penny is a one-woman powerhouse with so many different voices. Funny and heartrending all at once. So many chords struck for everyone there, whatever our stories. Thank you so much and can’t wait for the next instalment."

 Melanie Jane Pearson (Sheffield Artist/Filmmaker)


"Kathryn, you are a brave and amazing lady and I’m sure that you and Penny have an amazing show on your hands. Thank you for sharing your story with us."

 Julie Higginson (Actor)


"Mad Cow brilliantly conveys the reality of living with bi-polar affective disorder. It depicts the journey of a woman’s highs and lows  and the impact her illness has on her life and those around her. This is done in a humorous , as well as sensitive way, giving the audience a greater understanding of this complex, and often misunderstood condition. Mad Cow cleverly shows both the harrowing but also positive - even uplifting experiences that bipolar can bring to a person’s life. The play is superbly written by Kathryn Littlewood and beautifully performed by Penny Capper."

 Charlie Barnes (Artistic Director, Dead Earnest Theatre)

"I had read the book already but couldn’t imagine it as a play. However , the play exceeded my expectations. It was so good! The play was a faithful precis of the book. I felt the emotions of the central character Kathryn. She was thrown about by her emotions which manifested in her behaviours; the actress who portrayed Kathryn was well able to display the chaos of mania and the desperation of depression. Although entertaining and hilarious at times, the underlying sadness of mental health was that no one was able to see the depth of the problem before it was too late. The voice of Barry was particularly strong, coming into the play as his voice on the phone.. I also really liked the music which helped place the play in the era that it was set. I particularly liked it when the actress brought in audience participation, especially in my favourite scene when Kathryn is at church talking about Barry but the congregation think she is talking of Jesus. ‘He loves me’ she shouts and we the audience stand up and say ‘Hallelujah’. I would love to see this play again!"

 Liz Davies (Barrister)

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