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Trump Lear review at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘Strange, amusing blend of Shakespeare and Donald Trump’

Trump Lear at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

David Carl and Michole Biancosino’s Trump Lear manages to be both a fair rendering of an abridged production of Shakespeare’s Lear and an astute imagined conflict with the 45th president. Far from a gimmick, the meta-commentary of the show argues that Trump is poisoning comedy and art just as he does this show. But there are laughs to be had in this gallows humour.

Carl David (David Carl) must perform his one-man show of Donald Trump as King Lear for Trump himself. If the Donald hates it, David will be executed for treason. With a box of makeshift puppets, David voices various political figures as the characters: George W Bush is the conniving bastard Edmund (a photo of his face with googly eyes is attached to a Solo cup), Ivanka Trump (her face pasted on a bottle of mayo) is the non-compliant Cordelia, and Putin (a vodka bottle) is Cordelia’s suitor, the King of France. But as is his wont, the president keeps interrupting when he gets bored, annoyed or confused.

While it’s an intentionally frenzied, shambolic concept, Carl is a talented impressionist giving precise rendering of Lear in the voices of Trump, Christopher Walken and John Wayne among others.

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Verdict
Strange and amusing blend of Shakespeare and Donald Trump, with excellent vocal impressions

Production

Production
Trump Lear
Venue
Pleasance Courtyard
City
Edinburgh
Starts
August 2, 2018
Ends
August 27, 2018
Authors
David Carl
Director
Michole Biancosino
Sound
David Carl
Video
David Carl, Michole Biancosino
Technical
Allison Raynes (stage technician)
Cast includes
David Carl
Producer
Project Y Theatre, Richard Jordan Productions
Running time
1hr 5mins