Thatcher death play to hit London stage
( AFP ) - A play entitled "The Death of Margaret Thatcher" is to hit the London stage next month, speculating about the impact of the former prime minister's passing.
Conservative titan Thatcher, 82, prime minister from 1979 to 1990 and Britain's only female premier, radically changed the nation during her 11 years in power, transforming the woeful economy into a powerhouse.
Playwright Tom Green's show examines why Thatcher remains a controversial figure in Britain so long after she left the political stage.
Green told The Observer newspaper that he was inspired to write the play after Thatcher was invited to tea by Prime Minister Gordon Brown last September. She is hardly a popular figure in Brown's governing Labour Party.
The playwright contrasted her political rehabilitation with the public promises to celebrate her death made by some left-wing figures.
"I am 37, so definitely one of Thatcher's children," he said.
"Unless you were one of her fans, she was a monster, and yet that seems to have changed. The strength of feeling about her is part of Thatcher's iconic status.
"It will be interesting, when she does die, to see what society makes of it. But this is not an essay or a polemic. I would not even characterise it as anti-Thatcher."
The play features, among othe characters, a miner who vows to walk from the north of England to spit on Thatcher's grave, and a newsreader who sees the chance to announce her death as a career break.
The play's producer June Abbot said: "We were worried about the title at first, but this puts Baroness Thatcher's death on a par with events such as the death of ( US president John F.) Kennedy or princess Diana. She provokes such emotion.
"It is about how people are affected by her death in different ways. None of them talk about whether they were for her or against her."
The play runs at the Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton, north London, from February 5 to March 2.