Saturday 17 March 2018

Donald Trump lampooned at Edinburgh Fringe

Donald Trump is proving a big draw at the Edinburgh Fringe (AP)
Donald Trump is proving a big draw at the Edinburgh Fringe (AP)

Donald Trump may not be planning to visit the United Kingdom this year but he has become a very popular figure in Scotland's capital.

Performers at this year's Edinburgh Fringe festival are roasting the US president in several shows, including Trumpageddon, Trumpus Interruptus: The Impeachment of Donald J Trump, Locker Room Talk and Trump'd.

In Trump'd, a singing, dancing Mr Trump, still in power in 2030, is being sought by a Mexican resistance group that is pleading to be deported. "It is really important to poke fun," said Adam Woolf, the show's writer.

"When Trump is making really incendiary comments that could genuinely pose a threat to everyone on the planet, I think it is easy to be overwhelmed. It is important to have some sort of respite from that," he said.

Zach Tomasovic wrote and stars in "Trumpus Interruptus," which portrays the US president as a soft drink addict heavily under the influence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr Tomasovic said the sound of laughter is one of the most powerful tools that artists have at their disposal.

The festival, which runs until August 28, has often included shows with a biting, satirical bent, tackling everything from the Lockerbie bombing, the death of Princess Diana or Brexit. In 2012, Clinton: The Musical was nominated for best new musical and made it off-Broadway in 2015.

The theatre community has been quick to respond to the new president, including Robert Schenkkan's play Building The Wall, a production of Julius Caesar in New York City with the title character portrayed as an ego-driven populist with fluffy blond hair and a gold bathtub, and the jokey Me The People: The Trump America Musical, now playing in Manhattan.

Even before the new administration took office, Mr Trump criticised the Broadway actors in Hamilton after they had pointed words for his vice president.

At the Fringe, which began in 1947 as a democratic alternative to the high-toned Edinburgh International Festival, Mr Trump may be a draw - but not for everyone.

Patrick Wilson, director of Trump'd, said he was recently handing out flyers to his show when an American visitor balked.

"She took it and then came back and handed it back to me and very properly said, 'I will not be mocking my president thank you very much,'" he said.

"I said, 'Well that is absolutely fine, but we will be, so do something else with your evening - just don't come and see this.'"


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