Writers: Jonathan Brittain and Matthew Tedford
Director: Jonathan Brittain
Reviewer: Tom Finch
Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho is a deliriously camp and joyful look at the now infamous Section 28 era of Thatcher’s career. From the opening rendition of YMCA via an Anything Goes tap dance fight to a fabulous finale this show has the audience in the palm of its hand the entire time.
Much of the reason the show works so well is Matthew Tedford’s spot on impersonation of the Iron Lady complete with handbag and head flicks. He embodies Thatcher perfectly. He also knows how to work an audience with some carefully crafted banter going down a storm.
The premise of the show is complete hokum but that doesn’t seem to be much of an issue. Margaret Thatcher is being lobbied for and against section 28 and on the night before it is about to be passed she goes for a long walk, finding herself lost in Soho where mistaken for a drag queen she becomes a cabaret sensation and stops the bill being passed into law.
The script cleverly takes us from scene to scene with some hilarious meta-theatrical gags “Shall we walk and talk? I like my exposition on its feet.” This constant self-referential style gives the piece real charm. There are also some fantastic one liners which had the audience howling with laughter.
Tedford’s PM is backed up by two supporting actors, Robert Cawsey and Ed Yelland who fill in the many other rôles excellently. They more than hold their own on stage which is no mean feat when up against such a fearsome co-star.
This show does have some real point to it as well. It cleverly educates the audience on the issues surrounding section 28 and demonstrates quite beautifully the power of comedy in making a real point about society. Also worth pointing out is on the night this reviewer went the audience was more diverse than one might think. This is not a gay show for gays but indeed everyone from all their backgrounds appeared to enjoy it tremendously. A genuinely hysterical show with a beating heart at its centre, it deserves the plaudits it had better go on to earn.