Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon discovers what critics have had to say about the revival of Moira Buffini’s political comedy Handbagged now playing at the Kiln Theatre.
Welcome to today’s edition of ShentonSTAGE Daily, after an extraordinary day that saw us bid farewell to Her Majesty the Queen, after a reign of 70 years that saw her appoint 15 prime ministers — the latest of whom Liz Truss she met only on Tuesday. Truss will now be reporting in a weekly audience to King Charles III (coincidentally the title of Mike Bartlett’s 2014 play which imagined the future that awaited him — and us — that transferred to the West End and Broadway).
Handbagged, touring to the King’s all week, is an inventive, very funny and surprisingly subtle piece of theatre.
Moira Buffini’s West End hit, originally at the Tricycle Theatre, deals with the famously fractious relationship between the Queen and Mrs Thatcher during the latter’s three terms as Prime Minister.
Both characters are played by two actors – Susie Blake and Kate Fahy as the older versions, with Emma Handy and Sanchia McCormack as their younger equivalents.
When Margaret Thatcher died on 8 April 2013, she remained alive and well in two West End characterisations, neither particularly flattering. In Billy Elliot The Musical, during the “Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher” set-piece, her giant Spitting Image-style head loomed large above a group of festive miners, one kitted out in a trademark Iron Lady blue […]