Stacey Gregg's short play When Cows Go Boom is an oblique parable of love set against a horrific imagined landscape. It was first performed as a rehearsed reading at the Peacock Theatre, Dublin, in 2008 as part of the 20:Love play-reading series commissioned by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.
The play explores the devastating effects of an ongoing battle for oil in an unnamed country. The gap between those at the top and those at the bottom is laid bare as a man and a woman attempt to find some sort of humanity amidst the wreckage of their lives. The play references the Niger Delta oil conflict, where local ethnic groups clashed with oil corporations over the country’s resources, and the Shell to Sea campaign, which calls for safe exploitation of the Corrib gas field in County Mayo and a fairer share of the profits for the Irish State.
The Abbey Theatre reading was directed by Rachel West and performed by Emmet Kirwan and Fiona Bell.