BWW Review: MARGARET THATCHER: QUEEN OF SOHO, Wilton's Music Hall
You never imagined Margaret Thatcher could be so vulgar, but then, it seems weirdly plausible. Like all good drag, Margaret Thatcher: Queen of Soho is outrageous and unreal, and sometimes fun.
In a character he has worked since 2013, the year Thatcher died, Matt Tedford plays the Iron Lady with a good deal of pomp and hairspray. He is accompanied by two Thatcherites (uncredited), resplendent in cut-away jean shorts and dorky moustaches. It's the 80s, darling, in case you didn't get it.
Thatcher and her Thatcherites sing, dance, and romp through 1988 and the events leading up to Parliament's historic Section 28 vote, which proposed banning nearly any mention of gay rights in schools. I won't tell you how it ends, but I will give you a hint that this is not a tragic drag show.
Tedford has a wicked sense of comedic timing, and he and his backup dancers are all good fun. There is plenty of humour - a lot of Brexit jokes - and an awful lot of 80s pop cultural references.
On a smaller stage, I can imagine Margaret Thatcher being a great time. Alas, in the grand space of Wilton's Music Hall, the cast of three and their almost non-existent set are dwarfed by audience expectations. Drag shows tend not to be too polished - it's fine if the dancers are a bit out of step or a prop falls off the stage - but in any space with a balcony, the demands are a bit higher.
It doesn't help that shows like RuPaul's Drag Race have raised the stakes (and heel length) for performers across the world.
If you have fond memories of the 80s and its music, or if you want to watch an era of great uncertainty reimagined through a lens of kitsch and glitter, you may enjoy Margaret Thatcher. If, however, you are a bit fed up of Soho nostalgia, and expect a more rounded show, you may want to pass.