This satirical video about Britain says about itself ‘UK Labour (supposedly socialist) PM Gordon Brown praises Conservative world Icon Margaret Thatcher.’
From British daily The Morning Star:
Reclaiming the fight
(Wednesday 17 October 2007)
The Gala Theatre, Durham
KEIR WINTERTON sees a play that’ll put the fire back in your belly.
With a beer being created in its honour and the Horden Colliery banner being hoisted by NUM members outside the theatre, Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood’s new play Maggie’s End certainly had a lot of expectations to live up to.
But, as usual, the Tyneside playwrights have come up trumps with a darkly comic satire that explores the gaps between socialism and current Labour policies with great humour and equal measures of passion.
It tells the story of a family who are torn apart by news that should have brought joy to their somewhat miserable existence.
Leon (Michael Gunn), who is trapped in a failing marriage to serial cheat Suzy (Jane Holman), is a former figurehead of the socialist movement and spent most of the 1980s fighting against Margaret Thatcher and everything that she stood for.
Back then, he was jailed for not paying the poll tax. Fast forward to 2008 and he’s a washed-up politics lecturer who has lost the fire in his belly and, with it, his pride.
Then comes the news. Thatcher is dead. Soon, the short-lived joy turns to anger as it is announced by [New Labour] MP Rosa Thomas (Arabella Arnott) that she will be given a full state funeral.
Not only are Leon and Suzy outraged that such an idea could actually happen, but it is made worse by the fact that Thomas is Leon’s daughter.
The play centres on Leon’s attempts to get her to abandon her support for the funeral and to join the protests which he and Suzy are trying to organise – and new Labour Home Secretary Neil Callaghan is trying to stop.
Throughout the play, there are moments of heart-warming light relief and Harry Herring as Uncle Arthur steals the show as the slightly senile old socialist whose powerful tirade of abuse shocks Leon to his core and helps him to revive his political drive.
“I do remember Leon,” he says, “but you’re nothing like him. Leon was a fighter.”
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