Moira Buffini's Handbagged to Transfer From Tricycle Theatre to West End's Vaudeville

By Mark Shenton
28 Jan 2014

Moira Buffini's Handbagged, a play that charts the relationship between the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the ruling monarch Queen Elizabeth II that premiered at London's Tricycle Theatre last year, is to transfer to the West End's Vaudeville Theatre, beginning performances April 3 prior to an official opening April 10, for a run through Aug. 2.



The play is directed by Tricycle artistic director Indhu Rubasingham and is the first production of her tenure to transfer to the West End. It will be produced at the Vaudeville by Eleanor Lloyd Productions and Tricycle London Productions.

Marion Bailey, Stella Gonet, Fenella Woolgar, Neet Mohan and Jeff Rawle reprise their original roles, and will be joined by Lucy Robinson to complete the company. The production is designed by Richard Kent, with lighting design by Oliver Fenwick and sound design by Carolyn Downing.

In a press statement, Rubasingham commented, “It's thrilling to be transferring Moira Buffini's wonderful new play to the Vaudeville Theatre after our sold out run at the Tricycle. Having nurtured it since 2010, this is a fantastic opportunity to continue the Tricycle’s long tradition of bringing new work to the widest possible audience."

The play revolves around the monarch Queen Elizabeth II, and her most powerful subject Margaret Thatcher. These two enduring icons were born six months apart: one destined to rule, the other elected to lead.  But when the stiff upper lip softened and the gloves came off, which one had the upper hand? According to press materials, this comedy speculates on that most provocative of questions: What did the world’s most powerful women talk about behind closed palace doors?

Marion Bailey, who plays Q (an older Queen Elizabeth II), has previously appeared at the Tricycle in Dance of Death and The Arab Israeli Cookbook. Stage credits at the National Theatre include Blurred Lines and Grief, and at the Royal Court Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness, Blessed be the Tie and This is a Chair.

Stella Gonet, who plays T (an older Margaret Thatcher), has previousy appeared at the Tricycle Theatre in Women, Power and Politics. Stage credits at the National Theatre include Skylight, Racing Demon and Hamlet, at the RSC include Three Sisters, Divine Comedy and The Revenger's Tragedy, and in the West End Top Girls (Trafalgar Studios) and Memory of Water (Vaudeville Theatre).

Liz, the younger Queen Elizabeth II, is played by Lucy Robinson and Mags, a younger Margaret Thatcher, is played by Fenella Woolgar.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 4663, or visit www.handbaggedtheplay.com.