Louisa Davison's Review
Studying The Play About Theresa May for a module called "The Director's Handbook" for their Theatre International Baccalaureate, Louisa had this to share...
A Play About Theresa May is a response to ‘Conservative injustice focusing on May’s 1106 days in power’. In the introduction, the playwright explicitly counts the number of days May was in term for and refers to certain dates in accordance with that, which seems to imply her feelings of being imprisoned in May’s policies as a queer, disabled women. The thought-provoking play aims to encourage the audience to question the decisions of politicians, hold them accountable for their actions as well as leave the side lines and take part in politics in order to rightfully take back control of their future. As the playwright mentions in the redirection, ‘there is no sitting back, unbothered by what’s happening “over there” on stage when the performers intrude and invade’.
The obvious issue that is discussed in the play is that of Brexit, but in retrospect, the play is about May’s desperation to be seen through rose-coloured spectacles and have a grand legacy to be remembered by in history. May’s character in the play represents her as this female politician who is deeply concerned about her reputation and one that has been given a warzone to deal with by men, leading her to make the ambitious and audacious that she did. Nevertheless, the playwright deters the audience from sympathising with May, saying that ‘she is not a weak woman’ but a ‘cruel woman’. She urges the audience to hold May responsible for the reality that they are left with now.
During the course of the play, the playwright utilises famous scenes and events that May was involved in to poke fun at May and her contradicting claims and decisions in politics, portraying her as a clown. The result of that is a comedic political satire that is extremely entertaining to watch, and one that would not be short of laughter. One aspect of the play that I particularly like is how it involves the audience, this makes the play more interactive and engaging for members of the audience. Also, the fact that the play involves audience participation, again, makes people think about modern politics and the situation that Britain has now found herself in. It draws them back to the unfortunate reality that the scenes on stage are re-enactments of real-life events, and that the injustices and tyranny that has been brought about by so-called politicians are very much real and need to be acted upon.
The overarching message that the playwright wants to communicate through the play is that people have to wake up from the false reality they are living in and realise that what is going on will affect them; that is, unless something is done about it, which entails people actually getting actively involved in politics and not just watching the course of events ‘on stage’ as an audience member. I believe this is a crucial and powerful message, especially for young people. For much of history, the youth has been disengaged or disenfranchised from political processes, leaving older generations to take the reins of what would effectively be their future. What young people can take away from this play is that they need to be the change they want to see in society and stop complaining about politics, thinking that their voices would be silenced when they do have the ability to make a stand to mold society into one they can take pride in.