The Lady’s Not For Walking Like An Egyptian: Thatcher Pops ‘n Locs at the Royal Exchange*

Polly Checkland Harding

The 1980s like you’ve never seen before – this original piece of theatre makes pop hits political.

Dancing between obviousness and obscurity, this original piece of theatre at the Royal Exchange Studio gives the 1980s a good shake – and puts together a storyline, of sorts, from what falls to the floor. The Lady’s Not For Walking Like An Egyptian blends Margaret Thatcher’s political speeches with all the words of every 80s top hit by a female artist as a way of remembering, in both iconic and ironic ways, a decade now heavy with cliché.

The chance to see a Thatcher lookalike on a space hopper

There is, of course, lots of lycra, neon, space hoppers and pussy-bow shirts – but writer and performer duo Rachel Mars and nat tarrab balance comedy with seriousness to explore power, influence and the female voice. Thatcher’s promises of an economic zenith, for instance, are spliced with lines from Madonna’s Material Girl as a neat way of highlighting the social preoccupations and pitfalls at the time. This piece follows on from Jackie Kay’s Brink in the studio, in a season that’s strong with female voices. And so for this – and the chance to see a Thatcher lookalike on a space hopper – this lady’s not for walking away.

*Well, not exactly…

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