Salisbury Playhouse until April 20

Moira Buffini's clever comedy, with its impish depictions of the regular private consultations between Her Majesty the Queen and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is a fascinating foray into the 1980s. Playgoers who do not remember those eventful years will appreciate the deft programme notes that highlight major news of the time.

Mrs Thatcher, who became Britain's first female Prime Minister in 1979, is portrayed by Sarah Crowden and Eve Matheson while Susan Penhaligon and Caroline Harker play the Queen. Platforms provide four levels; there are sparkling chandeliers and well-positioned doors to give immediacy to this excellent production that prompts the thought, "Might it actually have happened like this?"

The versatile supporting cast, Jahvel Hll and Andy Secombe, depict various characters with great aplomb in this superb trawl through a highly significant era. World figures include Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, press magnate Rupert Murdoch, US Presidents Reagan and Bush (and Nancy Reagan) as well as Denis Thatcher and Michael Heseltine. Events included the Falklands conflict, Greenham Common peace demonstrations, the IRA bomb attack on the Tory conference, the Commonwealth Games and Mrs Thatcher's refusal to condemn apartheid in South Africa. The era also featured deregulation of the London Stock Exchange, privatisation of British Gas, the fall of the Iron Curtain and end of the Cold War, the freedom of Nelson Mandela after 27 years and the notorious poll tax riots.

There is reference, too, to Royal weddings, political manoevrings and even the Queen's fondness for corgis (four replicas on leads!)

The audience rose in unison as the Queen ( one younger and one more mature) made a ceremonial entry through the aisles, offering random comments en route. Dawn Allsopp designed the simple, effective set. The entire production, directed by Jo Newman, is hugely enjoyable.

Stella Taylor