Two formidable figures – the Queen and Margaret Thatcher – are set to be reunited at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme as Fiona Buffini (The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd, New Vic Theatre) makes a welcome return to the theatre in September to direct her sister Moira’s Olivier award-winning play Handbagged.
Handbagged will be the first time since the National Theatre and West End transferred production of Dinner in 2002 that Fiona Buffini has directed one of her sister’s plays. Next April they will be working together on the National Theatre production of Moira’s new play Manor.
Over the course of a decade, two of Britain’s most iconic women meet regularly. In private. Sharing their views on what it means to be British and navigating their opposing opinions, do their smiles tell a true story?
The meetings between Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher became infamous in the ’80s. In this theatrical comedy, Moira Buffini imagines their relationship, and looks at what might have happened when two of the most powerful characters of our time came face-to-face.
Sharply funny, packed with satirical humour and highly entertaining, Handbagged will make you question what you think you know about the people who lead us, and features the Monarch, the Prime Minister and a host of surrounding characters including Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Geoffrey Howe, Denis Thatcher plus many more!
The cast includes: Zoe Aldrich, Louise Bangay, Melissa Collier, Ashley Gerlach, Jan Goodman and Paul Mundell.
Fiona Buffini said: “I’m genuinely delighted to be back at the New Vic. The play has been performed all over the UK and most recently in the US. This is the first time (to my knowledge) that it’s been performed in the round. This intimacy really suits the play: it’s as if we’re eavesdropping on private meetings. All the characters talk to the audience, which works so well at the Vic. It’s also about a time in our history of huge upheaval and change, which really divided the nation. A play for today.”
Handbagged will run at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme from the 6-28 September.