By Moira Buffini
Directed by Indhu Rubasingham
With Anita Carey, Kate Fahy, Beth Hylton, John Lescault, Susan Lynskey, and Cody LeRoy Wilson
The Iron Lady. The Queen. Born six months apart, each woman had a destiny that would change the world. But when the stiff upper lip softened and the gloves came off, which one had the upper hand?
Indhu Rubasingham, Artistic Director of the Kiln Theatre (formerly known as Tricycle Theatre), returns to direct after helming acclaimed productions at Round House, Tricycle, and the West End in London. Handbagged is the wickedly funny new comedy that imagines what the world’s most powerful women talk about behind closed palace doors.
Round House Theatre, dubbed “the current meteor in DC theatre,” by Peter Marks of The Washington Post is one of the “Big Six” professional theatres in the Washington, DC area. They produce a six-show season of new plays, modern classics, and musicals for more than 55,000 patrons each year at their 360-seat theatre in Bethesda. They also provide educational programs for more than 4,000 students of all ages at their six-classroom Education Center in Silver Spring, in schools throughout Montgomery County, and at their Bethesda theatre.
“Such gleeful metatheatricality pervades Handbagged. Buffini makes no attempt to mask the artificiality of the theater, and in doing so, she is free to unleash its full potential...Buffini's script teems with humor and wit, making us laugh as we learn. She's like Brecht, but fun.” - Theatermania
“royally amusing comedy” – Lighting&Sound America
“fast-paced, witty, chronological epic...The actors beautifully draw out the play at lightning speed, with drama and wry humor...succeeds in skilfully, creatively, showing two immensely powerful women, immoveable, principled, and capable of cutting one another right down to the bone." - Plays to See ★★★★★
“Handbagged is a well crafted play that features fine performances and an intriguing perspective of British government and culture.” - Broadway World
“Buffini’s concept is simple and elegant, with dialogue and fourth-wall-breaking narration seamlessly interwoven...she has a beguiling, light touch on heavy affairs of state." - OffOffOnline
“splendidly performed and well-directed” -TalkinBroadway
“you’ll be..delighted with what transpires...When reviewing the original production of Handbagged at the Tricycle in 2013, I said “Let us hope that the folks at 59E59’s Brits Off Broadway series brings it to us, lock, stock and handbag." Here it is now on 59th Street, and for discerning audiences most welcome." - NY Stage Review ★★★★★
“witty, unusual and pointedly funny comedy...Buffini demonstrates her gift of being able to mix wit, broad humor, political viewpoints and enjoyable acting into an entertaining topical stew.” - Wolf Entertainment Guide
“all four actors are really spot on in their performances...a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking work” - A Seat on the Aisle
“Buffini's imagination is sharp, intermingling historical memories with wry humor; and director Indhu Rubasingham keeps the flow of political confab smart and lively. The brisk show divulges hints of resentment, grudging admiration, wit and whimsey and tinges of sarcasm.” - CurtainUp
“Delectable... the whole show shines” — The Washington Post
"Hilarious, showcasing the spectrum of British humor from smart and dry to wink-nudge.” — Culture Spot MC
★★★★★ “Theatrical heaven... simply smashing” — DC Theatre Scene
“A masterclass in acting... Lynskey, especially, is most adept at portraying ‘The Iron Lady,’ Maggie Thatcher and delivers one of the best performances I’ve seen this season.” — Broadway World