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by luvvysuperstar7 June 2017 One Comment
Permanent Link to Handbagged

Is Theresa May the inheritor of Margaret Thatcher’s crown? Well perhaps ‘Handbagged’ supplies some of the answers to that question.  The Queen and Margaret Thatcher met every week for 11 years – this play is a romp through those turbulent exciting years, and what years they were.  It all seems so long ago now but this play brings it all back.  The year long miners strike,  – which split families and friends for decades afterwards, the poll tax protests that turned into  riots, the women who camped out at Greenham common  for years, the US bombing Libya from airbases in the UK, the Falklands war, the end of the cold war  and apartheid, unemployment rising by 1 million in a year.  Now, not all of this can be portrayed via genteel conversations over the tea cups in Buckingham Palace – but by golly the play has a jolly good go!

Moira Buffinis play was described by the Guardian when it was first produced at the Tricycle theatre  in 2013 as a ‘buoyant meta theatrical experience’.  2 actors portray the Queen and 2 actors portray Margaret Thatcher – all on stage at the same time.  And – it’s a comedy! – having mentioned all the  really divisive events of the 80s and witnessing the emotions that Mrs Thatcher still provoked on her death –  being funny about her relationship with the queen – there’s a challenge!

Chelmsford Theatre Workshop based in Essex are performing Handbagged

Indeed the play is a great challenge for an amateur theatre company, the actors have to portray people who are so well known –  not only the Queen and Margaret Thatcher, but the Reagans, Enoch Powell and Gerry Adams, to mention but a few of the many cast of characters.  This means there are many decisions to be made.  Do the Margaret’s and the Queens (called T and Mags and Q and Liz in the script, but not in the play) have to look like the people they are playing, do they need to be the same age? Be the same height, build?  Or do they need to be able to imitate their accents and the way they stand and walk, or should we give greater priority to comic timing?

To find out the answer to the decisions we made and to see if this is a play your group would like to have a go at come along to Chelmsford Theatre Workshop production on from 20th June until 24th  Phone 01245 606505 or book online at www.ctw.org.uk

About the Author



Director and Actor.

One Comment »

  • David Gardiner
    David Gardiner said on the 9th June 2017 at 9:32 am

    Hello. That sounds like a very interesting production and I’m going to try to get to it. If you’re interested in what might be called ‘political theatre’ maybe you would like to consider for your next presentation my musical, which is completely free of performing rights and copyright complications and was created in a very unusual way: https://amdram.co.uk/classifieds/engineering-paradise-a-free-new-musical/

    If you would like to talk about it my personal email address is: sirat [at] davidgardiner [dot] net

    I live in Walthamstow, east London.

    Best, David Gardiner.

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