The death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has resurrected the bitter divides of the 1980s. As half the country mourns the other half celebrates with undisguised glee. However, when the newly-crowned Labour Prime Minister announces a state funeral for the late PM the parties stop – a sense of outrage grips those communities worst affected by the Thatcher years.
One of the most disillusioned is 58-year-old Leon Thomas – a Labour activist since the miners’ strikes of the early 1970s. A fondness for alcohol has seen Leon’s belief in the realisation of a socialist dream dissipate until now as he sees disillusioned socialists across the country rousing themselves for one last attempt to revive the long-sleeping giant of the real Labour and trade union movement.
There’s just one problem – Leon’s only daughter Rosa (32) – a junior minister in the Home Office has responsiblility for organising the funeral.
When the political becomes personal, relationships are stretched to breaking point as Rosa and Leon have to make decisions which could tear their country and their family apart.
Maggie’s End premiered at Durham’s Gala Theatre in October 2007. In April 2009 it had a two-week run at London’s Shaw Theatre as part of the commemorations for the 25th anniversary of the Miner’s Strike.
“Wonderful… as controversial as it is funny… go and see it” Daily Mirror
“A play which will resonate with many… some wonderful comic touches” Evening Chronicle
“A daring play… cannot fail to strike a chord with audiences” The Journal
“A play that’ll put the fire back in your belly. A darkly comic satire with great humour and equal measures of passion” Morning Star
“Fascinating… their best work yet” Shields Gazette
“Laugh-out-loud funny… Callaghan’s sheer venality recalls Rik Mayall at his best” Red Pepper
“Hard-hitting, thought-provoking and sure to be popular all over the country…top Marx” The Northern Echo
“Powerful and fast-moving with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments” Durham Times
“Destined for a national stage” Sunderland Echo
“Crammed with excellent jokes, Maggie’s End has the tang of real emotion, real anger and attitude – its stirring blasts of rage and mockery are bound to be heard elsewhere soon” The Spectator
“Brims appealingly with undeniable passion….in this instance, Vote Thatcher” Evening Standard
“Go and see Maggie’s End – the spirit of defiance burns bright” Daily Mirror
“Anyone who hates Margaret Thatcher will love Maggie’s End” Daily Telegraph
“Wildly, unashamedly partisan – entertaining agit-prop full of good bad-taste jokes” The Guardian
“The best of theThatcher plays – definitely worth seeing” www.londonist.com
“An evening of pure passion – Mark Wingett and Melanie Hill are superb” Manchester Evening News
“Very, very funny – the quips come thick and fast” The Stage
“A biting satire – much more about the death of Labour than Thatcher” www.spoonfed.co.uk
“Engaging and highly relevant, peppered with witty one-liners… this play will strike a chord with many” www.extraextra.org
“Hilarious and disturbing” The London Paper
“A richly-imagined, enjoyable piece of agitprop” Time Out
“A great comical weapon which exposes the New Labour government” News Line
“Sharp pacing and frequent flashes of biting wit” Morning Star
“Boasts an outstanding performance by Mark Wingett” Camden New Journal
“It has a galvanising charm…Mark Wingett provides a copper-bottomed performance” The Metro
“Incredibly funny – go and see this play! Mark Wingett and Russell Floyd give mesmerising performances” Muswell Hill Journal
“More perceptive, more effective, more real and, indeed, more entertaining than sombre interpretation, alongside the knockabout gags come memories stirred, conflicts revisited and passions reignited” Tribune