Red faced, and seeming to be straining to burst from his suit, Simon Jay instantly convinces the audience at his satiric show Trumpageddon that they are at a special session with the Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, except you can’t imagine the real Donald Trump allowing any audience to laugh so much at what he is saying.
But there he is, shifting easily and suddenly between narcissistic self promotion and irritably insulting members of his audience. (Something Simon is careful to ensure won’t really offend.)
This is Trump the absurd, and yet as he engages with the audience we can see the bully’s charm. He is one of us, offering to answer any questions, inviting us to play golf with him on stage and even help him to choose which country to nuke.
There is also that infamous habit of impulsively saying with complete confidence some completely mad idea that he has never before thought about. And if nothing comes to mind then Simon Jay gives us an exaggerated version of Trump’s belligerent shrug, as if you are insane and he doesn’t care.
This is a remarkable satiric performance and Simon Jay doesn’t let us forget the dangers of regarding Trump as a mere entertaining bully. We are reminded of his racism towards Muslims and Mexicans, his crude, narrow, even predatory attitude to women and of course his complete ignorance about almost any issue.
His performance ends like others I have seen by identifying Trump with a certain 20th century tyrant. It is meant as a warning. Trump is not just entertainment. The world should beware.
Reviewer: Keith Mckenna