Thatcher the musical opened at the Warwick Arts Theatre in
Coventry on Feb 7th and tours the country from Saturday.
The Foursight Theatre's all female cast of ten play eight different Maggies; the
Grocer's Daughter, Twinset
Maggie, Power Suit Maggie, Military Maggie, Britannia Maggie, Sacrificial
Maggie, Broken Maggie and Diva Maggie, as well as the men in her life Dennis,
Reagan, Geoffrey Howe and Michael Heseltine.
They are generally kind to the former British prime minister. Despite taking some liberties with the facts, and plenty of lefty digs about broken communities, “loads o’ money” and unnecessary wars, in general the portrait is sympathetic. Her humanity comes through and, as in real life, we see her cry.
Aficionado's will appreciate little details. Declining at first to take up the miners' challenge, and waiting till the coal stocks were high and she had been politically strengthened by the Falklands, before she dared face them down.
I went with my niece and
her boyfriend, both born when she was prime minister, and for whom the Brighton
Galtieri, Arthur Scargill and Ronald Reagan are distant history. With no direct pre-Maggie memories of a world ruled by trade
union thugs and facing communism across the iron curtain, they had to be
reminded that all the storm and tempest was real - she really did change
The best songs are Britannia Maggie arriving through the
audience to sing the punk song "No No No!" in front of her backing
group of cabinet ministers, and the finale with Diva Maggie reminding even her
opponents that she spoke for us all - "I
am the iron in your bloodstream, I'm in your DNA!"
If you love her, you’ll have a wonderful night. If you hate her, God help you! But you'll still enjoy the show.
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