One of the most controversial and cutting edge plays of the decade is heading to London in April to mark the 25th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike.
Maggie’s End, which is sponsored by NUM North East Area, the RMT, UNITE and the GMB, is a dark comedy that begins with the death of Margaret Thatcher.
It will be performed for two weeks from April 6 to 18 at the 500-seat Shaw Theatre in Euston Road, an off West End venue near Kings Cross railway station.
Written by internationally acclaimed playwrights Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, Maggie’s End premiered at the Gala theatre in Durham, October 2007, and attracted nearly 2,000 people to its sell-out performances.
The play was inspired by press reports that the New Labour government is making plans to give Baroness Thatcher a state funeral when she dies.
Trevor Wood said: “When we first heard these reports we thought that they were a bit of political kite-flying and that the idea would be quietly buried but they’ve since re-surfaced.
“There’s little doubt that most Labour supporters would see a state funeral for Margaret Thatcher as the ultimate betrayal by their party and that to acknowledge her in this way would re-open many of the sores of the 1980s.
“We wanted to explore what the possible repercussions of this could be, particularly in the north of England, where many communities were decimated during the Thatcher years.
“In the play, a former militant campaigner’s sense of outrage over the betrayal brings him into conflict with his only daughter, who has risen through the ranks to become a senior minister in the New Labour government, and threatens to destroy his family.”
Mr Wood continued: “Despite Mrs Thatcher’s death being the catalyst for the play, Maggie’s End is really about the legacy of Thatcherism and examines how far the New Labour government has travelled from its traditional roots.”
The play will mark the 25th anniversary of the miners’ strike, which ran from March 12, 1984, until March 3, 1995.
Davey Hopper, NUM North East Area secretary, said: “Maggie’s End is a great play and we wanted to bring it to the capital.
“The British public should never forget the despicable role the Thatcher government played in destroying mining communities as well as the shipyards, steel mills and other industries.”
He added: “We got fantastic help from London-based miners support groups during the strike and we look forward to seeing everyone involved with them again.”
Maggie’s End, which will be directed by Jack Milner, runs from April 6 to April 18 at the Shaw theatre, Euston. Tickets cost £15 to £11 and are on sale now. Contact the box office on 0871 594 3123.