The happy couple....

But the Bridegroom's mother and the Bride's father don't seem too happy....

Auntie Marigold is a little surprised at something....Perhaps it was the Grooms unique dance style?

And something seems to have really upset the Bride's Father.... Was it something the local lads said?

Or something Uncle Mahdu spotted?

I hope it's not something Veronica left behind.

Not all the guests seem so happy

Guests waiting for the happy couple

The invitation did say sensible footwear....

Mixed catering for a mixed marriage reception

October/November 2016
My Big Fat Cowpat Wedding
By Sayan Kent

You are invited to join the guests at Clare and Arjun’s wedding reception. All their friends and family will be there. A celebration of a mixed marriage between a girl from the country and a boy from the city.  What could possibly go wrong?  

Of course plenty does in this fast moving comedy drama full of misunderstanding and mishaps with plenty of neat twists and a Bhangra dance for everyone to join in at the end.  Everyone loves a wedding don’t they?

Based on real people’s experience of mixed marriages or rural weddings attended by city dwellers out of their comfort zone, this was a fun, light hearted exploration of relationships across the divides of rural/urban, race and gender.

It's was a site specific show with venues laid out for a wedding reception where the audience are the wedding guests and the show took place in amongst the audience.

Audience responses:

" It was quite simply brilliant and the cast worked their socks off to give us a spectacular evening.... absolutely hit the spot in our rural community!"

'The show was fantastic! The characters were really well played … and by only 4 of you! We really enjoyed the show thank you, it was hilarious.'

'It didn’t feel like a ‘play’, it felt like you were at a wedding reception. The actors were all believable even when playing the opposite sex! '

'Brilliant. Thank you. So good to have mixed race and non-white theatre, rural and country. Loved the variety of the characters touching on so many prejudices. Would love to see your thought provoking theatre again...'

'A BIG thank you for a fantastic performance last night. The players were fantastic. The performance was absolutely brilliant and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves'   

MBFCW was created especially for rural and city community centre touring jointly with Arts Alive (rural touring scheme for Shropshire) and Black Country Touring. The first time a rural touring show has been created in this way.

Cowpat was originally produced in 2014 when it was seen by over 2,000 people across 24 performances, most sold out, in a tour across the UK to rural venues and city community centres.

In May 2015 it was revived for the Alchemy Festival at the Southbank Centre. We also took it to Wolverhampton and Smethwick Library.

In July 2015 an extract was presented at the National Rural Touring Forum Conference.

In 2016 it did a 7 week tour to 38 venues:
28 Sept  Newhampton Arts Centre

29 Sept  The Barbour Institute
Cheshire  CH3 9PX
30 Sept  Quatt Village Hall
Quatt  Bridgnorth  Shropshire WV15 6QN
1 Oct  Meole Brace Peace Memorial Hall
Meole Brace  Shrewsbury SY3 9JP   
2 Oct  Conquest Theatre
Bromyard  Herefordshire HR7 4LL
5 Oct  Brasshouse Community Centre
Smethwick B66 1BA
6 Oct  Weaverthorpe Village Hall
Weaverthorpe YO17 8HA
7 Oct  Skipton Town Hall
Skipton  North Yorkshire BD23 1FD
8 Oct  Hackforth Village Hall
Hackforth  North Yorkshire DL8 1PE
9 Oct Hutton Rudby Village Hall
Hutton Rudby  North Yorkshire TS15 0EJ
12 Oct  Pattingham Village Hall
Pattingham  Wolverhampton WV6 7BQ
13 Oct  University of Worcester
Henwick Grove Worcester WR2 6AJ
14 Oct  Norwell Village Hall
Norwell  Nottinghamshire NG23 6LF
15 Oct Glebe Field Centre
Matlock  Derbyshire DE4 5EU
16 Oct Sturton le Steeple Village Hall
Nottinghamshire DN22 9HY
18 Oct Bourton Village Hall
Dorset SP8 5BJ
19 Oct Portesham Village Hall
Dorset  DT3 4NS
20 Oct Sixpenny Handley Village Hall
Dorset  SP5 5NJ
21 Oct Yetminster Jubilee Hall
Dorset DT9 6LQ
22 Oct Black Dog Village Hall
Black Dog Village Devon EX17 4QS     
23 Oct South Brent Village Hall
South Brent  Devon TQ10 9AQ
25 Oct All Saints Church Hall
Trealaw Tonypady CF40 2NW
26 Oct Rhossili Village Hall
Swansea SA3 1PL.
27 Oct Catbrook Memorial Village Hall
Monmouthshire NP16 6NA
28 Oct The India Centre
Cardiff CF24 2AA
29 Oct Neuadd Dyfi
Aberdovey Gwynedd  LL35 0NR
30 Oct Calolfan Clydau Centre
Llanfyrnach Pembrokeshire SA35 0BJ
2 Nov Shap Memorial Hall
Penrith Cumbria CA10 3NL
3 Nov Hamsterely Village Hall
Bishop Auckland Durham  DL13 3QF
4 Nov Crook St Cuthbert’s Centre
County Durham DL15 9DN
5 Nov Hepscott Parish Hall
Morpeth  Northumberland NE61 6LN
6 Nov Howick Village Hall
Alnwick Northumberland NE66 3LE
8 Nov Graffham Empire Hall
Petworth West Sussex GU28 0QB
10 Nov  Falmouth The Poly
Falmouth, TR11 3EG
11 Nov  Gwinear 71 Churchtown
Gwinear near Hayle TR27 5JL
12 Nov  The Stithians Centre
Stithians TR3 7DH
13 Nov  Perranporth Memorial Hall
Perranporth TR6 0EY

2016 Cast Sukhraj Dhillon, Genevieve Helson, Shri Patel and Graeme Rose 
2015 Cast Aimee Berwick, Shena Patel, Aaron Virdee and Graeme Rose 
Directed by Janet Steel and Steve Johnstone
Design by Abigail King 
Music by Sayan Kent
Stage Manager Nicola Cartwright

A Co-Production with Arts Alive and Black County Touring

The Collaborator Tea Parties
These brought togther local producers, theatre paractioners and rural touring schemes to:

  • Hear the story behind the collaboration that created the hugely successful My Big Big Fat Cowpat Wedding show
  • ‘Speed-date’ with local artists, promoters, producers and rural touring schemes.
  • Share and discuss ideas for work to be created locally for rural touring.
  • Eat cake!

Find our more about the tea parties here

MBFCW 2016 and the Tea Parties were supported by a Strategic Touring Grant from Arts Council England. #ACEsupported

MBFCW is an ACE Case Study

Production photos by Robert Day