Trumpageddon

Trumpageddon has a strong premise – a facile Q and A with the man of the hour. It is enjoyable enough but occasionally struggles to be larger than life, particularly when the source material is himself so overblown. The piece still stands up as a strong slow burn satire – or therapeutic excuse to shout at Tump, if that’s something you like to get off your chest.

The show’s gentle impersonation has taken a turn towards dark satire

Simon Jay’s impersonation of Trump is gruesomely watchable, all false bluster and dripping orange face, particularly when he’s being creepy and unpleasant towards any women with a pulse. Sadly he needs to work on his American accent, but when you get past that the impersonation remains convincing.

The audience are invited to ask Trump questions, and occasionally get up on stage to help with the answers. These sections of improvisation are interspersed with video clips of phone calls from world leaders and a visit from Melania. The hilarious and traumatic opening video was particularly great as it illustrated how we got here, using clips of classic American late night comedy shows and news clips. His Melania needed some work – there is plenty to mock about the first lady, but that wasn’t it. The apocalypse-preventing finale is a scenario I suspect some of us have imagined wistfully.

The show lacked a bit of clarity that will come with practice. Trump really is a goldmine of comedy, yet the show’s reliance on interactivity meant you had to depend on the audience for good questions.


Trumpageddon was born last year, when Trump was merely a candidate, and this was all still a silly joke. Now, parts of the show feel bitterly realistic and it’s not as much fun anymore. This time around, the show’s gentle impersonation has taken a turn towards dark satire – particularly given that most of the words used are direct quotes. It’s got a fascinating, fingernail-pulling, creeping horror that good satire manages, which make you laugh, even as you want to cry.

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Performances

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The Blurb

1,862,364 people signed a petition against Donald J Trump making a state visit to the UK, so he's doing a Fringe show instead. Trumpageddon enjoyed a sell-out edfringe run when The Donald was a mere candidate and now he returns as leader of the free world. Immerse yourself in Trump's world vision before he blows it to kingdom come. Created by Simon Jay and directed by Olivier nominee Dan Clarkson, this absurdist satire is as demented, hysterical and disturbed as the man himself. 'Remarkable satiric performance' **** (BritishTheatreGuide.info). 'Provokes both fits of laughter and furious debate' **** (List). www.trumpageddon.uk

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