Imogen Shearer's Review
Studying The Play About Theresa May for a module called "The Director's Handbook" for their Theatre International Baccalaureate, Imogen had this to share...
There are two very different editions of this play; one which was the initial 2017 production and the other a 2018 theatre tour which included a week-long stint at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This is a very strong play following Theresa May’s 2016 rising to being the leader of the conservative party and prime minister. The author’s take on this play has something to do with the fact she is a disabled, queer woman which was a double target for May’s vile regime.
Marie pushes this comic potential to its limits by employing Brechtian Epic Theatre, from the plays minimal set and props to its title, while it may be silly the frequent and brusque references to real events and policies keep it grounded in the reel world. It is a mischievous comedy which represents Theresa as a political clown and takes a look back to the politics of 2018. She appears on stage with a red nose, she stands there next to her party’s in hand-me-downs of cruelty and coldness, it illustrates May clownishness through physical comedy and a cast of political cameos.
The comedy also extends to moments of wonderful bizarre symbolism such as when Theresa May is forced into a shotgun wedding to marry Brexit itself, along with scenes of good-old-fashioned slapstick including a drunken Farage stand-in pouring pint after pint over the prime minister. The play illustrates the failure of senior Tories to engage with let alone convince us they believe. It is a play designed to create shock in home that this shock is then translated to a change in voting habits for the last 10 years, it is also designed to tackle complacency has accidentally created an incriminating portrait of it. Near the end the play begins to slow down, it is not afraid to show that she is the reason for the devastating decisions and holds her accountable over her policies towards disabled people.
The play is surrounded with familiar names such as Boris Johnson, Trump, the Queen, Macron, Amber Rudd, Michael Grove. It also has a multiplayer role for 3 characters who represent the public; junior doctor clown, the cleaner clown and the worker clown. The public is being represented as clowns which I disagree with and makes their inclusion in this play feel uncomfortable, they have hope and conviction which is why they’re considered clowns. The play has much subtler jokes and long intense monologues that make a huge impression, it has different sections explaining the process of the performance such as interviews, introduction between each section and reviews from the initial performance run of the play.
Overall I think this play is fantastically set up, focusing on the issues that went further than just Brexit whilst also getting the audience involved. It is a good read that will definitely open your eyes to why the conservative parties that they are money hoarding, capitalist and that she should step away from voting for them.