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The Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
FROM THE BARN THEATRE ARCHIVE

Handbagged

By Moira Buffini
Directed by John Davies
17th – 25th November 2017

A sparkling duel of wits between the two most powerful women Britain has ever known

Moira Buffini’s ‘irresistibly mischievous’ (The Independent) comedy speculates on that most provocative of questions: what did the world’s two most powerful women talk about behind closed palace doors?

First performed at the Tricycle Theatre before transferring to the West End, the play is based around the relationship between the Queen and Margaret Thatcher. With Mrs Thatcher’s death occurring while the piece was being created, Buffini was able to give full rein to creating a character whose real-life actions so split the nation. Here we have a Mrs Thatcher who is desperate to be liked and understood by a monarch who not only disagrees with many of her policies but also finds her dull.

Buffini succeeds in blurring timelines by having two actresses playing both parts – a younger Queen and Mrs Thatcher and their older counterparts who look back on that relationship. The conversations and disagreements are supposition – a fact Buffini frequently exploits by having the older characters state ‘I never said that’.

The play cleverly interweaves politics with personality, lacing the exchanges with dry humour. Buffini plays with the theatrical setting by interspersing dramatic scenes with asides to the audience while two other actors take on the guise of a host of historical figures, often reminding the audience, and fellow cast, who they are.

CAST & CREATIVE TEAM

Directed by
John Davies

CREATIVE TEAM

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DON'T FORGET, COMING UP AT THE BARN SOON

Opening 28th May
By John Finnemore

 

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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Statement

At the Barn we are committed to promoting equality and challenging discrimination in all its forms. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for all members of the cast and creative team, regardless of their race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment.

Part 1, 18th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 19th Jan 8pm

Parts 1+2 20th Jan 2.30pm

Part 1, 23rd Jan 8pm

Part 2, 24th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 25th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 26th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 27th Jan 2.30pm

Part 2,  27th Jan 8pm