Sat 23 Feb

TheatrePlaying Maggie - Pip Utton

“Master of the self-written character monologue, Pip Utton lifts the genre onto a new plane with his embodiment of Margaret Thatcher” (The Stage). A fascinating exploration of an actor facing the challenge of Playing Maggie. The show includes an in-character Q&A. What would you like to ask Maggie?

Margaret Thatcher to visit Portaferry!

Edinburgh Festival stalwart Pip Utton is bringing his award-winning show Playing Maggie to Portico in Portaferry on Saturday 23 February. With 5 star reviews from The Telegraph (UK), this show brings the formidable first female prime minister of the UK back to life: “The governing idea, that we’re privileged to be taking part in a Q&A with Mrs T, as though she had stepped out of the grave and returned to the fray, ready and willing to meet the public, is plain inspired.” 
Neither condemning nor condoning, the show is a clever depiction of one of the most controversial political characters of the 20th century and includes a chance for audience interaction with a wholly improvised Q&A. The Scotsman described Utton’s performance as “impeccably researched and observed, capturing the late prime minister’s clipped tones and deep baritone, as well as her ability to charm”.
Portico Manager Dr Verity Peet said, “We are delighted to be the only venue in Northern Ireland showing this fabulous piece of theatre. And the timing seems rather apt too – can’t wait to hear what the audience ask Maggie about Brexit!"

Utton’s performance is impeccably researched and observed, capturing the late prime minister’s clipped tones and deep baritone, as well as her ability to charm. He works his audience confidently with off-the-cuff put-downs and a clearly encyclopaedic knowledge of Thatcher’s personal and political life during her time in government and the subsequent New Labour years.

The Scotsman

Love her or loathe her...

This is not a hagiography or a condemnation of the Conservative former Prime Minister: her recent death saw celebrations – in Glasgow, calls were made for a street party – and respectful memorials, with a museum of her life currently being mooted…

Utton refuses to either praise or condemn her: ‘I enjoy the chance to try to portray that dead person without the need for me to make judgements about them, that isn't my job, I'm not an historian. I see my job and my challenge as an actor and writer is to allow an audience, knowing that the character is dead, to believe even if only for a moment or two that they have spent time in that person's company.’

With Thatcher’s legacy still up for grabs, and her influence on contemporary politics reflected in both Conservative and New Labour policies, Utton is using drama in the way that it begun in ancient Athens, as a public forum for debate.

Similar events


Event Details

Sat 23 Feb
19:30 to 21:30

£17 / Under 25s £5


  • The Portaferry Hotel
  • Fiddler's Green
  • Deli-licious
  • Joe's Hot Spot
  • The Lep
  • The Slip Inn

How to get here

Portico is easy to find in Portaferry. You can also get detailed driving directions or check out the ferry timetable for crossing from Strangford.