When we speak with one voice in world affairs
we carry much more weight
than any of us could do on our own
We, Margaret was a short play, written for Theatre503's evening of short plays about Margaret Thatcher, Thatcherwrite.
My idea was to try to find a way of exploring her interest in the individual. I think of the theatre as a very collective activity, in terms of the ensemble on stage, in terms of the creative team who work together to make the show, and then in term of the audience who collectively share in the creation and judgment and understanding of the show. So the theatre seemed to me a very interesting forum in which to consider the individual and Thatcher's espousal of his or her supremacy.
I got interested in a 1930s agitprop form called Mass Declamation which took the form of a group of performers chanting a text, sometimes poetic, usually rousing. It would be part of a cabaret-type event and would be a demonstration, through the skill of the performers, of unity, solidarity, collectivity, as well as offering a stirring message. The volume of the voices would have contributed to the excitement generated.
Margaret Thatcher has a website which gathers together all of her public statements. It's an amazing resource. I searched that for comments on the individual. I located what seemed to me the most interesting, powerful, or strange remarks and I turned it into a collage of her statements on the individual - and also on the group. The piece is designed to be performed by all the actors in the whole performance.
It got a single performance on the first night in an unusual position, after the curtain call, as a kind of encore. I didn't get to see it. It seems to me - though I'm kind of guessing - that the piece has the potential to be jarringly odd, funny, provocative and not a simplistic finger-wag about Thatcherism, but ask questions about theatricality as well as right-wing politics. It got written about here and here.
You can read it below: