Wednesday, 16 October 2013

'Handbagged' Tricycle Theatre ****

The Tricycle Theatre in the hear of Kilburn, London has most definitely chosen a poignant play to brace the stage this Autumn. 'Handbagged' by Moira Buffini takes on a fictional story on the relationship between the Queen and Britain's only female Prime Minister to date Margaret Thatcher. The plays dialogue is particularly funny as it features both younger and older representations of the same character inhabiting in the same scenarios and circumstances. The political context highlights that politics can sound and seem quite comical even though generally it is far from it. Buffini's narrative is incredibly clear as it takes on the journey of the two well spoken women and their dealings with one another. The performances by Marion Bailey as the older and current Queen and Shelia Gonet as the late Iron Lady convey the women superbly through both the comedy and the emotion. I found it quite amusing when they both exclaim their points the other says that what the other has spoken is fundamentally fictitious too save their undying reputations within the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. The younger imitations of the of these powerful greats, Clair Holman as the Queen and Fernella Woolgar as Lady Thatcher were brilliant presented as it shows the attitudes the lady's had towards one other at the start of Margaret Thatcher's control of the British Government. Unfortunately at certain points Holman did seem to not deliver her lines so coherently and unfortunately stumbles, such a shame to see as the majority of her performance is flawless. The Tricycle's Artistic Director Indhu Rabasingham directs the piece and her artistic decision making is nothing but honest and true because she understands the concept of two national and international figures explaining their own perspectives on events throughout such time e.g. the collaboration between the two women and the late American President Ronald Reagan. Richard Kent's design is simplistic but effective as it conveys the sophistication that British is stereotyped as and the manner in which the Queen and Baroness Thatcher speak to each other in both the professional world and the personal world. A most pleasing scene indeed.  This production is a fitting and amusing tribute to the only female British Prime Minister and should be seen by all of you.                

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