Have you ever felt that history lessons need more sequins and gogo dancing? Ever wondered how the most famous Conservative Prime Minister would dance in a gay club? Look no further than Jon Brittain and Matt Tedford’s incredible and unmissable story of Margaret Thatcher’s transition from political mastermind to Soho cabaret superstar.
With divisive political issues addressed right off the bat – in the first five minutes the Falklands conflict, the landslide defeat of Labour and, of course, school milk is covered – this show starts at a dizzying pace and effortlessly pulls the audience along with it, through a narrative that is part history boipic, part cabaret style singing and all satire.
Pussy bow collar complete, and with a firm grip on her handbag, Matt Tedford’s eerily accurate portrayal of Maggie could strike fear into anyone who remembers the miners’ strike years. Fifteen minutes into the performance, there’s sweat on Maggie’s brow as she charges through songs and monologues with a determination that only the introduction of a leather-clad Peter Tatchell can waver. Matt’s baleful eye rolls are spot on, and the way he directs his arms is just imitative perfection. His delivery gives a real bite to the script co-written with Jon Brittain, and balanced with lightning-fast improvised asides, Matt’s constant breaking of the fourth wall gives a delightful cabaret feel.
Matt is supported by backing dancers Hessell and Tine, who deliver a masterful lesson in speed switching characters, and an incredible joint impersonation of beloved national treasure Winston Churchill. Their expert rapport with Maggie brings a great sense of structure to a narrative that has a break-neck pace, but never once loses its audience.
The technical side of the show was extremely tight, without a single momentary pause between lighting changes, song intros or audio cues. The production team is clearly a well oiled machine, and gives the performance a professional shine. It is abundantly clear that years of careful dedication and practise have gone into this show
Whilst there is more than one Margaret Thatcher inspired show at Edinburgh this year, you just haven’t seen Maggie until you’ve seen Matt Tedford bathed in disco light, holding a double dildo with perfect Thatcherite disdain. With packed audiences, this show is deservedly selling out fast, so I urge you to get a seat now. You’re not going to leave liking Margaret Thatcher – you’re going to fall in love with the Queen of Soho.
Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho will be continuing its run at the Assembly George Square Gardens at 21.00, 8-16th August and 18th-30th August. Tickets cost £12 (£11 concession) and can be purchased from the Assembly Box Office – Buy Tickets