TWO of the most powerful women in Britain, the Queen and her 1980s’ Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, get together in Moira Buffini’s award winning play, Handbagged.
It is at Altrincham Garrick Playhouse where four talented actors play Thatcher and the monarch when young and older with film backdrops of the real Iron Lady.
Its talk of special relationships rings bells in 2017!
Buffini only speculates about weekly meetings between the two, but with insight into their characters, the play could be surprisingly near to the truth.
Caroline Knight as the older Thatcher captures the former PM’s belief that she, a grocer’s daughter, is equal to the Queen.
Dawn Flint’s older Queen remains as gracious and aloof as ever.
The portrayals of them earlier show Rachel Horobin as a sovereign wary of taking on the responsibilities of office and Fiona Primrose, an ambitious and clever Maggie.
We are reminded of the assassination of Airey Neave and Mountbatten which affected them both personally.
Then there is the Brighton Bomb, the miners’ strike, and the Falklands war.
Two men – Jamie Sloan and Mark Edgar - take on the roles of husbands, palace servants and ministers of state with versatility and humour. They interact with each other and the audience like pantomime dames and have everyone in stitches.
The two ladies who apparently view each other with mild dislike, always remain frostily polite. That is until Maggie’s demise when the Queen substitutes a whisky for eleven years of tea.
Handbagged is at Altrincham Garrick Playhouse until February 4. For tickets telephone 0161 928 1677 or book online.
Star rating: * * * *