Lovers of satire were flocking 30 years ago to watch a stage play entitled Anyone for Denis, which took the mickey out of Margaret Thatcher and her husband.
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This did not affect the Prime Minister personally until the embarrassing day when she was invited to a special showing, the proceeds from which were to go to charity. Mrs Thatcher did not want to go, but was warned that a refusal would be interpreted as proof that she had no sense of humour, so she reluctantly agreed.
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How she felt about it can be seen from a newly released letter, dated 29 May , from Michael Dobbs, then a political adviser. The word "no" can be seen written in Mrs Thatcher's handwriting five times across the letter. She was particularly determined not to accept a suggestion that she and Angela Thorne, who played her on stage, should be photographed in identical outfits. Later she learnt that she was not the only person who had been dreading the evening.
When it was over, she received a handwritten letter from Angela Thorne. It must have been two hours of agony for you," she wrote. Mrs Thatcher replied saying: "I thought we both got through rather well! And attending the performance got far more publicity than the other things I do. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.
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Shape Created with Sketch. And how was that? The early Mrs Thatcher appears before us now as prodigiously weird: the voice, the clothes, the beady yet faraway eyes, as if even she is dazzled by the extent of her convictions. But I also recognise her — she reminds me a little of my proud, hard-working grandmothers — and because of this, I sometimes feel furiously indignant on her behalf.
Those patronising, sexist, snobbish Tory bastards.