IF THE Leveson Inquiry into press standards seeks a dire penalty to exact against the worst tabloid excesses, it need look no further than Ben Elton’s blistering black comedy Silly Cow.
It’s at the Pomegranate this week, still excruciatingly topical after 20 years. This paper even gets a namecheck, though I like to think superbitch critic Doris Wallace wouldn’t get a seat on our newsdesk.
Susan Earnshaw gives Doris all she’s got, relishing every barbed line, never flagging for a second when everything starts to unravel.
Susie Hawthorne as her uber-efficient, buttoned-up ex Girl Guide PA is the other pillar of Patric Kearns’s sharp, slightly (and deliberately) over the top production.
There’s great male support as well. Adrian Lloyd James is in his element as the sleaziest kind of tabloid editor. The excellent John Hester adds a note of dignity as an honest accountant. And Chris Sheridan has some fun with a saggy-trousered toy boy.
Except... nothing is quite as it seems.
And that’s all I’m saying. Just in case...
It runs till Saturday, and the rep season ends next week.