Margaret Thatcher: Queen Of Soho
Uproarious, campy fun taking in key moments of political career
This article is from 2014.
Revisionist history has seen ex-PM Margaret Thatcher absurdly transformed after her passing into a feminist icon. But Matt Tedford – who has the Iron Lady’s braying condescension down to a T – has now provided the ultimate makeover for Thatcher, turning her into an unlikely drag cabaret star.
The opening numbers promise much: Bananarama's cover of ‘Venus’ with Falklands gunfire for percussion is jaw-dropping – but the exposition (Mrs T gets lost in Soho and is mistaken for a drag queen, forcing her to rethink her strategy on anti-gay law Section 28) becomes contrived pantomime, however well-intended.
There are many moments to savour, though: the Greek chorus bullet points; handing out milk, only to take it away; the patronising, deluded mannerisms of a woman increasingly out of touch with Britain's liberal society.
Tedford may often lack the satirical barbs of subversive acts such as Dusty Limits, who bends new shapes out of the mundane, but his energy and commitment, and that of his terrific backing singers Ed Yelland and Robert Cawsey (particularly in the scenes of gay activist Peter Tatchell reimagined as an East End thug) are hard to fault, rarely breaking out of character. It's all uproarious, campy fun – to paraphrase the former PM.
Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 24 Aug, 9.10pm, £10–£13 (£9–£12).