Review: ‘Trumpageddon’ at King’s Head Theatre
For those Islingtonites imaging what a Trump presidency will look like going forward, Sofia Quaglia got a frightening – if fictional – insight on Tuesday night before the polls closed.
Read her verdict on Simon Jay’s satirical show, ‘Trumpageddon’ – which will return to the King’s Head Theatre Pub for a post-election performance next week – below…
We cram into a room at the back of the King’s Head Theater Pub and watch an impersonation of Donald Trump which is so realistic that it almost feels cringe-worthy.
We’re here to bear witness to Trumpageddon, a part-scripted, part-improvised monologue devised and performed by satirist Simon Jay; such is the man’s talented portrayal of America’s newly-appointed President, however, that there’s seemingly no difference between watching him and his multi-billionaire subject.
Despite Jay’s face being covered in orange paint and his body by a badly-fitting suit, he maintains an American accent, shrugs like Trump, gesticulates like him, holds his fingers in the same awkward beak and matches the man’s iconic duck-faces with uncanny precision.
Serving as an extreme caricature of the then-Republican candidate, he takes questions from the audience in a broad-shouldered manner, responding with Trump’s trademark rhetoric by switching between simple quid-pro-quos, autobiographical references and controversial remarks about topics like terrorism, immigration, the LGBT community and many more.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, Jay / Trump even spent time opens letters from his ‘fans’, not least Theresa May and Nigel Farage; invites members of the audience to play golf with him on stage, and calls out anybody on their phone or looking sleepy, thereby showcasing his need to have their undivided attention.
Megalomaniac, rude, insensitive and plainly gross, it’s a hilarious act because of its combination of slapstick-esque ridicule with a tinge of the situation’s oh-so-sour reality. It’s not insightful so much as short, snappy and accurate, to the extent that the audience ultimately seem tempted to rip their hair out in realizing how potentially Trump’s ascension may be.
This being the case, Jay more than achieves his goals with Trumpageddon, since he recently told the Guardian that the central aim of his latest work was to “expose just how ridiculous and dangerous” his subject’s vies were “by taking them verbatim out of his mouth and into the mouth of this…caricature”.
Writing this with hindsight, it was borderline hysterical how I woke up on Wednesday to the news that the laughing-stock I had pointed my finger at the previous evening had actually become the USA’s latest commander-in-chief.
What a time to be alive.
In the King’s Head Theatre Pub’s own words, “due to popular demand and the fascination with the lunacy of this American election”, a further performance of Trumpageddon will be staged at the venue on Monday November 14 at 7pm. Book tickets here.