REVIEW: Handbagged performed by Dewsbury Arts Group

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When the nights are cold and wet in January it is hard to find a reason for leaving a warm hearth but Dewsbury Arts Group have come up with a cracker of a reason.

The play is called Handbagged and it invites the audience to be a fly on the wall at the regular meetings between two of the most powerful women in the world.

They are our own Queen and the late Margaret Thatcher and, of course, the nature of their weekly meetings and attitudes to one another remain secret.

However, Moira Buffini has examined every bit of hard fact, gossip and speculation and fashioned them into a brilliant entertainment.

The cast of six - Lynda McCraight, Alice Dabrowska, Liz Marland, Sophie Starmer, Stuart Marshall and Mark Bailey - and between them they create older and younger versions of the Queen and Mrs T plus a whole range of characters from the Thatcher years.

All actors are onstage throughout the performance and producer Margaret Biglands has encouraged them to bring out every ounce of humour and insight.

The performances are a credit to any professional company and the backstage team have pulled out all the stops.

The set is simple but conveys the opulence of Buckingham Palace perfectly. Costumes and the props could have come straight from the Queen’s parlour.

Those of us who lived through the Thatcher years will revel in the memories and those born too late will laugh and learn some truths about the fading legend!

From February 8-10 the group will be performing an evening of two new plays and the great Arthur Miller classic All my sons opens on March 9.

For details and bookings for all their shows go to

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