Described as a ‘drag comedy musical extravaganza’, Margaret Thatcher Queen Of Soho is easily one of the most fun nights out I’ve had for a long time. It follows the story of our hero, Maggie T, getting lost in Soho the day before Section 28 (the bill banning the promotion of homosexuality in schools) is debated in Parliament. Along the way she sings a multitude of hits, questions her decisions and eventually gives up her Parliamentary career to become a cabaret superstar (unfortunately, not entirely historically accurate, but the real story of Thatcher’s demise would make for a far less entertaining show).
Entering the Leicester Square theatre was an exciting event in itself; classic songs blared from the speakers (think Man, I Feel Like A Woman) and I was pleased to see I was not the only person singing/dancing along! The atmosphere was great and it seemed like everyone was ready for a glorious evening of camptastic fun (perhaps helped by the fact it was also St Patrick’s day!). I was intrigued to see what was in store – I’d watched some videos of Maggie on YouTube (her top 10 tips for being PM are a must see) but no amount of videos could have prepared me for witnessing the phenomenon in person. As she bursts onto stage with her somewhat unconventional rendition of the YMCA (with audience participation thoroughly encouraged), I knew I would be enjoying myself for the next 90 minutes.
Now I must mention the magic behind Maggie that is Matt Tedford. His marvellous portrayal of the Iron Lady had me in stitches every time he opened his mouth, particularly the interesting pronunciation of ‘homosexuals’ that I unfortunately can’t portray through the written word (just trust me, it’s brilliant) and the complete sass with which he dealt with people in the audience. Maggie’s ‘helpers’ Hestle and Tine (100 points to whoever came up with those names), played by Ed Yelland and Nico Lennon pull off a multitude of different roles with equal humour and really help to move the show along. A highlight has to be the arrival of the Ghost of Winston Churchill who Maggie turns to in her time of need. This scene (though mostly scripted) had an improvisatory quality about it which only made it funnier and really let the talent of the actor/comedians involved shine. Two other highlights: the Queen of Soho’s unique rendition of I Need A Hero (which involved far better cape management than Madonna) and her ‘heartbreaking’ solo version of She’s Always A Woman.
A must see for anyone wanting a hilarious, clever and thoroughly entertaining night out, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho is playing at the Leicester Square theatre until 21st March. If you can’t get there then be sure to check out Margaret Thatcher Queen of Podcasts in which Maggie offers brilliant insight into the week’s news. There’s even an Ed Miliband impression!