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Thatcher's legacy? 柴契爾夫人之死音樂劇

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, now Baroness Thatcher, at a wreath laying ceremony in London, on Nov. 9, 2007.
去年十一月九日,前英國首相瑪格麗特.柴契爾夫人,現稱柴契爾女爵,參加倫敦一場獻花儀式。
照片:美聯社

PHOTO: AP

A play entitled The Death of Margaret Thatcher has hit the London stage, 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 prime minister, 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.

Green said 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 characterize it as anti-Thatcher."

The play features, among other 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 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."(AP)

OUT LOUD 對話練習

James: I'm going to go and see that new play, The Death of Margaret Thatcher.

Kate: Do you really remember her being in power?

James: Well, sort of. I was in school in the 80s, and in the playground we used to call her "Maggie Thatcher, milk snatcher."

Kate: How come?

James: Oh when she was education minister she stopped universal free milk being given out to seven to 11 year olds. We really used to rag on her. Good job she wasn't actually there!

詹姆士:我要去看那齣新舞台劇「柴契爾夫人之死(暫譯)」。

凱特:你還記得她在位的時候嗎?

詹姆士:有點印象,我記得八○年代我還是學生時,我們在操場上都會叫她「瑪姬.柴契爾,牛奶掠奪者」。

凱特:為什麼?

詹姆士:因為她當教育部長時,取消了全國學校供應免費牛奶給七到十一歲學童的政策。我們當時真的猛拿她開玩笑,幸好她本人不在場。

rag on 責罵或是開某人玩笑

To rag on someone means to scold or tease him or her.

「rag on」某人意指責罵或是戲弄他(她)。


一齣名為「柴契爾夫人之死(暫譯)」的音樂劇在英國倫敦上演了,這齣劇碼推測了英國前首相柴契爾夫人去世後將帶來的影響。

英國保守黨鐵娘子柴契爾夫人,現年八十二歲,一九七九至一九九○年間出任英國首相,也是英國唯一的女性首相,其在位十一年間,徹底地將當時經濟萎靡的英國轉變成經濟強國。

劇作家湯姆.格林的作品檢視了柴契爾夫人在英國備受爭議的原因。

格林說,去年九月英國首相戈登.布朗邀請柴契爾夫人喝下午茶後,引起了他寫這齣劇的動機。柴契爾夫人在布朗帶領的工黨中其實是很不受歡迎的人物。

這位劇作家將柴契爾夫人的政治生涯復甦和左翼份子公開承諾要慶祝她的死亡做對比。

「我今年三十七歲,足以當她的兒子,」他說。

「除了支持者以外,在其他人眼中她是位殘忍的領導者,不過情況似乎已經改變了。對柴契爾夫人的那種情感上的力量,是造就她象徵地位的因素之一。」

「當柴契爾夫人真的過世時,了解社會大眾如何看待它將會很有趣,但是這齣劇既不是論述文也不是一場辯論,我甚至不會將它視為是一部反柴契爾夫人的作品。」

劇中角色包括一名發誓要從英國北方一路走到柴契爾夫人墓前吐口水的礦工,和一位將播報柴契爾夫人過世消息視為事業轉捩點的新聞主播。

製作人茱恩.亞伯特說:「我們一開始很擔心這齣劇的名稱,不過這也表示柴契爾女爵的過世和美國總統約翰.甘迺迪或黛安娜王妃去世的事件一樣,足以激起大眾的情緒。」

「這齣劇是關於柴契爾夫人之死對民眾的各種影響,並沒有討論支持或反對她的立場。」(美聯社/翻譯:楊鴻泰)

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