Review: Margaret Thatcher – Queen of Soho

The show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho is coming to Norwich Playhouse.

The show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho is coming to Norwich Playhouse. - Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

Mirror balls, muscular men in short-cropped jeans, and, er, the Iron Lady? It might not be an obvious combination but this show is an exuberant delight.

The show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho is coming to Norwich Playhouse.

The show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho is coming to Norwich Playhouse. - Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

Set – pretty loosely – around the 1998 passing of the 'section 28' law on the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities the punchy 90 minute show sees UEA graduate Matt Tedford take on the role of Margaret Thatcher, albeit with a hitherto unknown penchant for cabaret.

The script is littered with smart political references, from teasing an audience member with a pint of milk to arriving on stage in a (tiny, cardboard) tank, but the only thing layed on with a trowel is irony. There are some serious points here, but the central thrust is to entertain; it is utterly devoid of malice.

Co-writer and director Jon Brittain keeps it zipping along as Maggie belts out 80s pop standards and duels with surrealist versions of campaigners Peter Tatchell and Jill Knight. The show did come a little unstuck during a bizarre dialogue with a portrait of Winston Churchill, but that they got a way with it at all is testament to the sheer creative force of the production.

This is a joyful, entertaining and absolutely ridiculous show that fully deserved its rapturous response from a packed-out Norwich Playhouse audience.

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