#BrumHour saw Trump the Musical by arrangement with The Old Joint Stock.
For Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre, BrumHour’s Dave Massey spoke to Laurence Peacock from Blowfish Theatre about Trump the Musical which is at The Old Joint Stock until 22nd April:
This production is for adults only and contains sexual situations.
Review by Eleanor Lawson twitter.com/elle_lawson
Trump the Musical at The Old Joint Stock
Co-artistic Directors: Kyle Williams, Laurence Peacock
Think of Trump’s government and you may think of farce. If it seemed impossible to satirise the apocalyptic course America is headed on, Blowfish Theatre have done just that, making a political musical about a world governed by petulant man-children. Sound familiar?
2020: Nigel Farage is King of Britain (Wales and Scotland absconded as soon as they could) after selling the monarchy and soon, Scotland. Putin is mourning his relationship with Donald, and Trump… hasn’t done anything at all.
The show’s greatest asset is the actors’ investment in the physicality of their characters. Polly Bycroft-Brown in particular gives a meticulous performance, nailing each of Trump’s mannerisms, perfecting the signature hand movements, squint, and pouted lips that have haunted us all for the past few years. For a satirical musical revolving around political figures that are known and mocked around the globe, the characters need to be easily recognisable for the jokes to land, and they definitely are. We get a chance to see the whole casts Trumpian impression when Trump reveals his ultimate dream: a clone army, and Bycroft-Brown’s stands out.
While hers is the most uncanny impression, Kyle Williams as Nigel Farage is also excellent, the tweed jacket effortlessly recognisable. Williams is impressive in creating a bumbling façade with his hunch and flailing hands, his Cockney showman act cracking at crucial moments as his teeth bare in a hiss, the man’s bile and vitriol revealed. This is a particularly important moment in a political musical containing ball gags, gimp masks, and shitting on a silver platter. Such blistering moments of pure anger show us how these people distract the public from their anger and prejudice with comedic performances.
While the whole cast is admirable, it is Natasha Lanceley as Vladimir Putin who really steals the show. It’s called Trump: The Musical, but it’s Putin’s musical numbers you’re waiting for. Lanceley is a constant explosion of energy, from her Bridget Jones-esque ballad mourning her separation from Trump to her savage war-mongering crusade. Eerily similar to the assassin Villanelle from the hit show Killing Eve, she is lethal but charismatic.
The show ridicules its central figures, so it seems a little counterproductive to sell Farage t-shirts and Trumpian MAGA hats. Despite that (and creating laughs from politicians engaging in gay affairs), the show succeeds in making its audience laugh, in fact they never seemed to stop laughing. This production shows is that there is a catharsis in critiquing these ridiculous figures. If we feel powerless to these dictators, at least we can express this chaos onstage.
Blowfish Theatre’s production is undoubtedly hilarious, the cast having taken inspiration from a French genre of clowning called Bouffon, entertaining audiences while critiquing political figures (in fairness, with the politicians taking centre stage here, it’s not exactly hard). The production draws on real controversies that the whole audience is painfully aware of, then pushes them to the extreme through Putin giving a gagged Trump a lap dance, or Farage gyrating in leather shorts and a gimp mask. The idea of a British tank stuck in traffic doesn’t sound far-fetched.
Trump the Musical is at The Old Joint Stock until 22nd April. Book tickets here: oldjointstock.co.uk/whats-on/trump-the-musical
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