Handbagged

King’s Theatre,

Edinburgh

2nd – 7th Nov

unnamed

This brilliant piece of theatre written by Moira Buffini looks at the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth II, who met up regularly during the prime minister’s leadership.  There is no record of their discussions so Buffini had free rein as to the content of the play.  However, the script is both intelligent and insightful and it would appear that Buffini had done plenty of research with a little creative license.  A good story will often blur fiction and truth, making them difficult to distinguish, leaving the listener with their own interpretations and questions and this play successfully achieves this.

With a young Margaret (Sanchia McCormack) an older Margaret (Kate Fahy) and an older Liz (Susie Blake) and a younger Liz (Emma Handy) the changing relationship between the two is cleverly depicted.  As time progresses the queen’s commitment to the commonwealth and her desire for Zimbabwe to gain independence in addition to concerns about shutting mines and civil unrest depict Liz in a far kinder light than the egotistical Margaret.  To what extent this is true we cannot really know but I am assuming something was known of their relationship.  A number of male parts are played by Asif Khan and Richard Teverson including Dennis, Ronald Reagan, a Scottish press officer who leaks Liz’s dismay at Maggie’s harsh leadership and Michael Heseltine, and hiliariously Asif Khan also acts Nancy Reagan to great applause from the audience.  There is plenty of humor throughout; references to Liz’s love of horses, dogs, cups of tea, Margaret’s dislike of Balmoral, bossing Dennis around and charming Ronald to Nancy’s annoyance, it all seems very plausible and the characters are brilliantly acted.  At times the characters address the audience which also helps to draw the audience into the dialogue.  I thoroughly enjoyed this insightful and humorous show. FIVE STARS

five-stars

Reviewer : Sophie Younger

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Posted on November 4, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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