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Robert Tanitch reviews Mike Bartlett’s The 47th at The Old Vic, London

“I could,” boasted Donald Trump, “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and I wouldn’t lose voters.” The prospect of Donald Trump returning to the White House in 2024 as the 47th President is comical, but it isn’t fun.

Mike Bartlett writes his satire in Shakespearean blank verse, as he did when he wrote King Charles III. The new play doesn’t have the same depth and audience that enjoyed it King Charles III and looked forward to seeing you again The 47thwill probably be disappointed.

Trump arrives in a golf cart to address the audience directly. There are references not only to Richard III, but also to Julius Caesar, King Lear and Macbeth. Most effective is his confrontation with his children Ivanka, Donald and Eric by asking them who loves him the most.

Joe Biden has a meaningless sleepwalking scene, for free. A New York journalist is blinded. Act Two begins briskly with a mob riot led by QAnon’s shaman, the megaphone-headdressed guy who figured prominently in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Bertie Carvel looks amazing like Trump and he has all his hand mannerisms. It’s a comical performance that elicits lots of laughter. Tamara Tunie looks amazingly similar to Kamala Harris and takes things more seriously. Lydia Wilson is a persuasive, power-hungry Ivanka.

Directed by Rupert Good. Miriam Büther designed the stage design. The Old Vic stage was raised and slid into the auditorium. The acoustics are not so good now. Some actors are more audible than others.

There will no doubt be other and better plays, films, TV series, operas and musicals about Trump. There might even be a ballet. Think of Charlie Chaplin playing with his balloon ball The great dictator and what Matthew Bourne might do in a one-act ballet.

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Robert Tanitch reviews Mike Bartlett’s The 47th at The Old Vic, London

Source link Robert Tanitch reviews Mike Bartlett’s The 47th at The Old Vic, London

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