Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17

AlfRodchenko

Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

As a remainer I was shocked and upset when Britain voted for Brexit. But

then, being a selfish, opportunistic bastard, it dawned on me that the

political cloud had a silver lining. Dead Sheep may have been relevant

in 2015 but in 2016 it was uncannily so. A Tory PM makes a fatal

miscalculation over Europe? Tick. The PM is betrayed by an ally? Tick. A

Tory wife machinates exquisitely at the heart of it? Tick. There’s more. In

Dead Sheep a blond, charismatic, maverick Tory wants to be PM. Sound

familiar?

The play needed plenty of post-referendum tweaks. Ian Gow, Geoffrey’s

friend, now says in the play that leaving Europe would be impossible:

“Too complicated, for a start. Undoing all those laws. Like the political

equivalent of reversing a vasectomy.” It’s been a writer’s dream:

reworking a script with the benefit of hindsight to make the echoes

louder. Thatcher now quotes Churchill about Britain being “of Europe,

but not part of it. Interested but not absorbed.” And she showboats more:

“History will prove me right one day, Geoffrey. The majority of the people

are with me on this.”

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The Guardian’s Michael Billington commended the original production

but felt it should have shown Thatcher’s sexual side (as admired by

Alan Clark in his Diaries). On reflection I agreed. Now, Margaret (Steve

Nallon, who previously impersonated her on Spitting Image) flirts with

her blunt press secretary Bernard Ingham, a Yorkshireman, in a way that

is – I hope – entertaining and instructive. “Did you see the way President

Mitterrand looked at me, Bernard? He likes women, you know.” Bernard

turns puce as Margaret moves close and coos: “I am a woman, you

know.”

SEPTEMBER 2016

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