What do you get if you cross all of the words of Margaret Thatcher’s public speeches from the 80s with all of the words of every top ten hit by a female artist from the 1980s and look at them through the filter of American Tan tights? Well, probably something you weren’t expecting.
Mars.tarrab explore political texts and pop lyrics to ask questions about power and influence, the female voice, memory and creation. One might expect high octane laughs or an absolute disaster with the subject matter in hand but there is another way, the middle ground. That isn’t to detract from some of the funny and clever aspects of the play, Mars.tarrab actually do the middle ground incredibly well. If you are expecting a musical, then go to the West End, but not before you see this comedy duo dressed as Maggie Thatcher on all fours re-enacting scenes from CATS the Musical, yes they go there! They go there and beyond taking the milk snatcher to places I didn’t know she could go. Another must-see moment is a satirical look at the bombing of the General Belgrano and Maggie’s words and deeds during this time; obviously not a light subject matter to take on but take on they did with cheap props and a space hopper, which to their credit is one of the funniest moments in the play.
The point of it all is to make you look at the 80s in a different light, whether you were a battle-torn Marmite Thatcherite or a little seedling of the 80s, the message is, it is alright, either way you won’t be lambasted for your ignorance or your beliefs, both are played out before you in speeches, memories, songs, comedy, lycra and pants (not forgetting the space hoppers!). It’s the devil’s advocate of a play where differing points of view are played out very well. At times it could feel like a bit of a feminist rant and a personal memoir which, if toned down slightly would make the play a little more palatable. A mixture between Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Have I Got News For You, the audience can expect politics, bad 80s pop, icons of the 80s, big hair and lycra, they can expect to be entertained and educated, just don’t expect a show that goes out with all guns blazing. What you get is a thought provoking piece of political commentary with plenty of laughs thrown in. The acting is very good and the writing is tight, as far as their exploration goes it comes together well, and the conclusion, well that’s up to you. Go with an open mind knowing it is a political satire from the fringe and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Review by Stephanie Caiger-Watson
The Lady Is Not For Walking Like an Egyptian
Tuesday 19th – Saturday 23rd November
Saturday 23rd November 2013