HAMPSTEAD DOWNSTAIRS / CELIA ATKIN PRESENT
By OLI FORSYTH
Directed by KATIE PESSKIN
Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes (no interval)
Just tennis all day, whenever you want. Not many 13 year olds have that, do they? They’re going to make you so good we won’t recognise you
14 Jun - 20 Jul 2019
Box Office: 020 7722 9301
‘Poignant, impactful and cathartic… very powerful indeed’ | ★★★★ The Upcoming
Creating a tennis champion costs a lot; it requires time, dedication and, most importantly, cash. Nina and Ade decide early on that their daughter is worth the investment. Imagine the return - prize money, world travel, endorsements and maybe their own tennis academy. Hell-bent on their child becoming Britain’s number 1, the pair are willing to sacrifice just about anything. If you want to reach the top spot in the game of tennis, love means nothing…
Oli Forsyth’s breakthrough play is a blistering exploration of blind, parental ambition and the consequences of tough love.
Katie Pesskin directs her first production at Hampstead following her associate directing credits on the Main Stage with plays such as Jude, I and You and Uncle Vanya.
Starring Jonathan Livingstone as Ade and Phoebe Pryce as Nina.
'In a world dominated by a society which places too much emphasis on appearances, acceptable social norms and reputations, it’s surprising that the often-discussed topic of tiger parenting is rarely explored on stage. This makes Oli Forsyth’s Cash Cow all the more enjoyable: it’s a dark secret we all know about and can thus engage in, even if we haven’t experienced it ourselves. More than that, the production by Katie Pesskin is simple, effective and minimalistic. Mix all this together and you have a play which is poignant, impactful and cathartic – in short, very powerful indeed.'
'Much of the piece’s force comes from the point of view it portrays. It’s a two-hander in which the audience gets to indulge in the lives of Nina (Phoebe Pryce) and Ade (Jonathan Livingstone), lower-middle-class parents of a tennis prodigy... Most of the show’s 90-minute runtime provides a basic narrative from the moment the parents discover their child’s talent up until the inevitable breakup when the daughter “goes pro”.'
'Both Pryce and Livingstone do an excellent job in portraying their characters. Nina is the perfect oedipal mother, always too caring and involved, and Ade constantly pushes the girl further and further until it’s too late. It’s often tough to watch as the parents genuinely believe that they are doing their best for their daughter, even when it’s obviously one of the worst possible kinds of parenting.'
'The minimalistic production...does a superb job playing to the play’s strength – its characters and the dialogue, and it’s here where the show shines. This is especially highlighted in the lighting design by Ali Hunter, who frequently makes excellent use of her tools in just the right moments.'
'Cash Cow doesn’t reinvent the way we think about theatre. It’s straight-forward, traditional and easy to follow, but it explores its themes so well and with such passion that this is hardly a flaw – on the contrary, it’s rather refreshing.'
To read the full review visit The Upcoming online here.
Michael Higgs, 25 June, 2019
COMPOSER AND SOUND
Michael Higgs awards Oli Forsyth's Cash Cow four stars
Oli Forsyth’s new play, Cash Cow, is about a couple who will stop at nothing for their child to achieve the ultimate heights of tennis. Creating a tennis champion costs a lot - time, dedication, money. Is it worth the investment? We take a look at some tennis’ biggest stars, their career achievements and the driving force behind them…
Jonathan Livingstone and Pheobe Pryce star in the next Downstairs show Cash Cow, by Oli Forsyth and directed by Katie Pesskin
Cash Cow by Oli Forsyth will be the next production at Hampstead Downstairs, with Katie Pesskin making her directing debut at the theatre.
First five performances: All tickets £5
The next twelve performances: £12
Performances thereafter: £14
Seniors: £10 (matinee only)
Under 30s and Students: £10
Groups: For every 9 tickets get the 10th free