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EntertainmentMUSICAL THEATRE - Trump! is making satire great again

MUSICAL THEATRE – Trump! is making satire great again

Photo: Heather Isobel

Blowfish Theatre Company are making satire great again in a truly tremendous fashion. [star rating = 4/5]

On stage a not-so-orange Donald Trump exclaimed that the press would report that there were only 30 to 40 audience members, but this was in fact “Fake News”, and actually there were hundreds of thousands of us.

It’s certainly true that the room at C Venues was suitably full for this preview show on the eve of the official Fringe opening.

Aided extensively by the current political climate, this geopolitical satire set in 2020 features a Presidential state visit, a rather cockney sounding King Nigel Farage, some unusual nuclear negotiating tactics from Kim Jong Un, and a bromance between Putin and Trump that seems to have developed extensively since their latest meeting.

Lyrically the show is extremely well written and witty. It was a fantasy playground of politics, which may have more weight than we’d care to imagine. The minor details, like a lovestruck Putin and the surprising introduction of some BDSM accessories, had audience members chuckling into their drinks and regularly roaring with laughter.

The script was at its strongest when the well-developed familiar characters were at centre stage. Writer, Laurence Peacock clearly had a lot of reference material. Perhaps simply because there were so many familiar faces, some of the supporting roles felt a little thinner in their character development.

David Burchhardt’s Donald Trump impression is one to rival the man himself. Perhaps it’s his well-rounded pout, but despite his paler complexion he really nails some of the 45th President’s most well-known mannerisms. Truly tremendous.

Putin actress Natasha Lancely, who also played a panto-like ‘Kimmmy’ Jong Un was a crowd favourite. From her well-timed quibs, to her singing voice, everytime she pulled back the curtain and stepped onto stage the atmosphere in the room lifted with it and the laughter commenced.

The strong points of the production rests in the writing, but is backed up with an extensive collection of blonde wigs and some good wardrobe choices.

The production lighting was well-executed and Music Director and Composer, Dominic Lo, who was the solo instrumentalist, had his timing worked out perfectly. However, where Lo’s keyboard projected, the un-mic’d cast often shrunk in volume behind him, and whilst lyrics weren’t often lost to the audience this remained a real shame.

With a bigger budget, there is real potential for this show to take it up a notch. At this Fringe, it’s still well-worth spending time and money on.

Satire in 2018 is never short for inspiration and this rang true in Trump! The musical’s lighthearted character assassinations of some of the world’s most important players.

Formed in 2016, when a group of Sheffield theatre makers thought it would be a laugh to make a satire about Boris Johnson, Trump! The Musical is Blowfish Theatre Company’s second show at Edinburgh Fringe, here as part of a 66 date UK 2018 tour.

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