Pros: A comical production based on current political affairs.
Cons: Force of Trump lacks real action and relies overly on swear words in its humour.
Having been to the Jack Studio Theatre in Brockley a number of times and always left satisfied, I was excited to see Force of Trump, not least because the show is about one of the most heated topics of the moment.
Walking into the performance space to the sound of upbeat music, the first thing I saw was one Donald J Trump in a desk chair, dancing alone and horsing around. This sight set the tone for the show right from the start and really helped to characterise Trump. The set was fantastic yet simple and sent out a clear message as to how Trump, now president, had made ‘America great again’. The America flag was torn apart and scattered around the stage, with red stripes hanging from the ceiling and blue stripes and stars scattered across the back of the set.
Set in a future where the USA and UK have entered into the Syrian war, Force of Trump finds President Trump aboard Air Force One and bound for the UK on a state visit. However, due to allegations that Trump has tortured Muslim British soldiers he believes to be connected to ISIS, Trump discovers en route that he is banned from entering the UK, a fact which serves as the show’s main plot device. The sixty minute show derives its humour from the combination of Trump’s massive ego and the almost impossible situation he finds himself in.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Force of Trump is not a production for fans or supporters of Trump. Trump was presented as less than smart and as a far from ideal president. Chris Born played the part brilliantly: I had been looking forward to hearing the actors’ various accents and impressions and Born did not disappoint with his near perfect impression.
The real star of the show was perhaps Phoebe Vigor, who had multiple roles to contend with. Vigor moved back and forth between the different accents for each part, including the role of Putin(!), perfectly – I was envious of her talent! The actress who played Trump’s secretary/assistant had the least varied role of the show but complimented Born’s Trump by providing the brains to Trump’s boasts. You could tell that the two actors had had hours of practice which lead to a great harmony and relationship between the characters.
Overall, Force of Trump is a great production but relies slightly too much on swear words in its jokes. Trump’s dialogue was great most of the time, especially when he was concocting metaphors. The audience laughed countless times as Born’s Trump ridiculously compared himself to everything from a cuddly bear to a panther.
Although the show had a somewhat aimless plot, the dialogue and humour more than made up for this. While perhaps not for everyone and certainly intended for adults, Force of Trump should prove to be a hit with those who are less than a fan of Trump.
Author and Director: Sami Ibrahim
Producer: Cough // drop Theatre
Booking Until: 15 October 2016
Box Office: 0333 666 3366
Booking Link: http://www.brockleyjack.co.uk/portfolio/force-of-trump/