A FAMILY AFFAIR by Michael Dobbs
As a writer Michael Dobbs is probably best known for his best-sellling HOUSE of CARDS, made first into a BBC TV series then a long-running series on Netflix. This BBC Radio 4 drama follows a fraught fortnight for the Thatcher household as Thatcher's long and controversial reign teeters towards its devastating conclusion. Claire Higgins stars as Margaret Thatcher and the drama was produced by John Taylor and directed by Roland Jaquarello.
Best-selling novelist Michael Dobbs was for a period Margaret Thatcher’s chief of staff and this drama, while a work of fiction, is based upon his inside knowledge of the events surrounding the Prime Minister’s fall from power in 1990. As the play begins, the Thatcher family has for almost eleven years been witness to the ups and downs of life at the political summit. When their mother came to power, Carol and twin brother Mark were in their mid-twenties and now are pushing forty. Their lives have diverged and, while they never knew each other well even as children, they have become increasingly estranged. Denis is the ballast of the family and - despite the fact that, according to a recent quote from Carol herself in the Independent he “lived on gin and cigarettes” –his solidity and sense of humour are what assure the stability of the family as the problems in the Conservative party and the country converge and the disaffection with the leader becomes more and more baldly antagonistic.