Theatregoers looking for to come back to phrases with the tip of the second Elizabethan period ought to head to this very good revival of Moira Buffini’s Olivier-winning play in regards to the relationship between the Queen and Margaret Thatcher, stated Dominic Cavendish in The Day by day Telegraph.
The long-planned manufacturing was scheduled to open the day after the Queen’s dying. Reasonably than cancel performances, the choice was taken to press forward, with a minute’s silence earlier than each through the mourning interval – and rightly so. First staged in 2013, the play is “no hagiography”, however it’s imbued with admiration for the monarch’s “diligence” and heat; and I used to be each “transfixed and moved” by the night.
In a “deft flight of fancy”, Handbagged options the Queen and Mrs Thatcher each as they had been within the Nineteen Eighties, and as their older selves reflecting again, stated Clive Davis in The Occasions. The Queen is offered as a “unifying determine in an period of profound upheaval”, whereas Mrs T is a “tone-deaf” and uncaring right-winger. It’s an “unashamedly partisan piece of storytelling”, however “it’s additionally very humorous”.
There are “genuinely affecting” performances from Marion Bailey because the older Queen and Abigail Cruttenden because the youthful. Because the Nineteen Eighties Thatcher, Naomi Frederick appears on the younger aspect, however she “channels” the Iron Woman’s persona “admirably, whereas Kate Fahy provides us an eerily correct impersonation of the older, bruised chief”.
Equally good are Romayne Andrews and Richard Cant, who play a number of supporting roles – from Michael Heseltine to Nancy Reagan, stated Arifa Akbar in The Guardian. Certainly, the “most chilling and exhilarating” second comes throughout Neil Kinnock’s “I warn you…” speech earlier than Thatcher’s 1983 re-election.
Buffini’s Queen is “arguably an excessive amount of of a liberal fantasy and her Thatcher an excessive amount of of a Gorgon”, stated Nick Curtis within the London Night Customary. However on this second, “neither of those exaggerations seems like a capital offence”. It is a “pleasant” revival of a “sensible, sharp play”, and one that’s “extra well timed than it was ever meant to be”.
Kiln Theatre, London NW6. Till 29 October. Working time: 2hrs 15mins