Trumpageddon, King’s Head Theatre
I’m not sure seeing Trumpageddon on the night of the US elections was entirely sensible,especially not with the intent of reviewing it. Tonight – of all nights – I am not dispassionate or detached. It was also not a night I wanted to be off Twitter.
You see, I’m a political junkie and on nights like this I’m Jonesing for my real life fix – and no fringe methadone is going do it for me. So I was quite surprised by exactly how diverted by Trumpageddon I was.
It’s essentially a one man show – and oh what a man! Trump is a gift of a character and Simon Jay makes the most of what he’s given. His impression may not be as accurate as Alec Baldwin’s, but he has the essence of the man to a tee.
There was – for me – an awkward question in how well our audience of Islington liberals enjoyed a show based on the thoughts and morals of Donald Trump. The jokes were, by necessity, often crude, sexist, homophobic, racially insensitive. Were this audience of liberals enjoying the joke as meta? Or just the permission to laugh their worst laugh in a liberal space? Is this – as Simon Jay said to me when I asked – “Bernard Manning in OrangeFace“?
I have come down as no (says a guffawing liberal member of the audience). I say that not to get myself or the production off the hook. But there was just enough subtle character breaking moments (“I know because I said it” was a regular refrain) to show intent. And intent matters, context matters.
The show is structured largely as a Q&A with a few set pieces. The comedy set pieces don’t all work. I will go to my grave wondering about the deeper political, editorial or contextual point of Hunt the Bunny but when Jay gets into his flow he’s great.
Ultimately this is a very funny show who everyone should hope closes soon as Trump loses his status. When I wake up tomorrow and he’s been elected – well the replays of the Protect and Survive information films that segment the show will have come in handy.
Due to popular demand and the fascination with the lunacy of this American election, another performance date for Trumpageddon on Monday 14th Nov at 7pm has been added. Tickets can be purchased here