On Edge with the Iron Lady ; REVIEW the Death of Margaret Thatcher Courtyard Theatre, N1

By Mountford, Fiona | The Evening Standard (London, England), February 8, 2008 | Go to article overview
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On Edge with the Iron Lady ; REVIEW the Death of Margaret Thatcher Courtyard Theatre, N1


Mountford, Fiona, The Evening Standard (London, England)


WHERE were you the day Margaret Thatcher died? Pre-empting the actual event somewhat, playwright Tom Green has come up with the sort of headline-generating title few dramas have a hope of living up to, and so it duly proves. Theatre's biggest hitters, David Hare say, or Frost/Nixon's Peter Morgan, might have taken on the Iron Lady's ultimate demise and won on points but the best Green can manage is a little slight comedy and a lot of pointless whimsy.

Where to begin with a hardheaded re-evaluation of Thatcher's legacy? "Nowhere" is Green's answer as, in these 60 minutes, politics barely gets a look-in. Instead, in keeping with our tiresomely selfcentred times, various people tell us how they feel about Mrs T.

Green would have done better to stick to a single narrative strand, rather than interweave three. By far his strongest section is the one set in a television newsroom, where a sombre newsreader first imparts the titular information, before reporters are sent out to gauge reactions around the country. Nightly bulletins could have been a nifty way of navigating a week of high emotion and it's tempting to wonder what Morgan, who made such a fine job of seven days of similar intensity in The Queen, would have done but instead precious time is wasted listening in on a man's unilluminating therapy sessions and a monologue from a funeral director.

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