Perfect for fans of disco, politics, and drag (this Venn diagram overlaps more than you'd think), Margaret Thatcher becomes transformed into a cabaret Soho star in this hilarious show, now in its sixth Fringe run. With perfect comedic timing and clever references to current affairs, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho is a delight, creating comedy and positivity out of a darker time in LGBTQ+ history.
Perfect for fans of disco, politics, and drag
Matt Tedford's performance as Thatcher is brilliant - perfectly capturing her infamous voice and mannerisms. Accompanied by cronies 'Hessell' and 'Tine', who play a variety of alternating characters including Peter Tatchell, Jill Knight and cabinet ministers, this three-man show is exceptionally well done both in terms of performance and stagecraft. The lighting was often in the 'bisexual' colours of pink, blue and purple (quite apt, I thought), and there was a smoke machine which made it feel more like a Soho atmosphere. This was much appreciated after 18 months of Covid-19 lockdowns.
The show only falls short in a couple of ways - the musical numbers could have involved more singing (surely it isn't impossible to sing in the Thatcher voice?) and some political references wouldn't be understood if you weren't well versed in 80s political history, especially Section 28. Despite this, the show does a great job of portraying the context and background of the amendment, making it easier to understand for those of us who are too young to remember!
Despite the darkness that Section 28 cast over the British LGBTQ+ community for over a decade, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho celebrates the joys in being gay and promotes an overwhelmingly positive message of acceptance - without minimising the harmful effects of Thatcher's government at the time. This is a difficult balance to strike, but this show does it effortlessly, and it was a joy to watch.