Discover what critics have had to say about this revival of Moira Buffini’s political comedy now playing at the Kiln Theatre.

(c)Tristram Kenton

The Guardian: *** “Almost a decade on this is still a clever, funny and charming political comedy, perhaps a little overstretched in its conceit, with four exceptional performances that almost upstage the script itself.”

Evening Standard: **** “Indhu Rubasingham’s production unfolds at a finely calibrated pace in front of an exploded, skeletal Union Jack supplied by designer Richard Kent. Lines about Prince Andrew, Jimmy Savile and trickle-down economics land differently than they did in 2013, and there is some final dialogue about dying and dementia that I think is new.”

Broadway World: **** “Those too young to have experienced the Thatcher era first-hand may struggle to grasp every nuance or inside joke, but the end result is an incredibly witty and poignant production.”

WhatsOnStage: **** “Far more satirical than serious, Handbagged offers a light-hearted take on the pair’s reported feud. Might the historical reconstructions be more theatrically impactful if the dialogue weren’t all so retrospective? Perhaps. But it serves as a fitting and uncannily well scheduled tribute to the late monarch that offers audiences more than proximity to a heavily guarded coffin, it offers the chance to bask in the fondest, warmest recollections of the beloved Queen, one who is remembered here for her devotion to equality, duty and all those she reigned over.”

The Times: **** “This feels distinctly eerie. On a stage in Kilburn, The Queen is alive and well and swapping bons mots — and some acid looks too — in a series of chilly, fictionalised encounters with her longest-serving prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.”

The Stage: **** “Moira Buffini’s play about the weekly meetings between the Queen and Margaret Thatcher is immensely funny and well-researched, but also exceptionally timely.”

The Telegraph: ***** “It’s worth queueing round the block for Moira Buffini’s play, which depicts the meetings between Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher.”

Theatre Weekly: “The cast of Handbagged is faultless, and they work together brilliantly as an ensemble. Marion Bailey is a dignified but homely sage as older Queen Elizabeth, while Abigail Cruttenden plays an ardent incarnation of the younger Liz. Kate Fahy delivers a sanctimonious, stony hearted older Thatcher, and her equally unbending younger self is ably played by Naoimi Frederick. Roymayne Andrews and Richard Cant play 27 other characters including Denis Thatcher, the Reagans, Rupert Murdoch and the Queen’s footmen.”

Handbagged continues to play at the Kiln Theatre until the 29th October.


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