Off-Broadway musical Trump L’Oeil is to make its UK premiere in London this autumn.
Blending cabaret, queer theatre and circus to explore Trump’s presidency, the piece will run from 7 September – 2 October at Upstairs at the Gatehouse.
Taking on the titular role is Vivek Sharma (Stranger Things – The Experience) – who portrays Trump as he is marched through a series of surrealist art landscapes, with life hilariously imitating art. Charlotte Barnes (Aladdin, Disney) plays Ivanka, and is joined by Alex Linscer (Aladdin, Manchester Opera House), Charlotte-Hannah Jones (Last Train to Christmas, Sky), Curtis Medley (Terry Pratchett’s Soul Music, Rose Theatre Kingston), Kyle Copeland (Dirty Dancing, Secret Cinema), Sarah Hughes (Cinderella, Theatre Royal Wakefield), Tish Weinman (Letitia Delish), and Verity Power (Lady Parts, Channel 4).
Written by Henry Parkman Biggs, the production is directed by Oli Savage (Echoes of You, Lesnes Abbey Park; As You Like It, Greenhouse Theatre; The Voices We Hear, Greenhouse Theatre), choreographed by Blair Anderson (Footloose, UK Tour; Snow White, Radlett Centre; Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, Wyvern Theatre) and has musical supervision by Mark Crossland (We Will Rock You, World Tour; 9-5 The Musical, West End & International; Footloose, UK Tour).
It’s 2016 in the USA, and things are all getting a little surreal…
Inspired by Escher’s stairwell, Magritte’s apples and Dali’s melting clocks, the songs are themselves textual illusions as the writer, Henry Parkman Biggs, uses acrostics, anagrams and lipograms to craft hidden messages within the songs, taking his 30-year lyrical commitment in this area as the artist Headmess to a whole new level. With a wide range of musical influences, from rap to bubblegum pop, this cheeky and challenging musical presents a decidedly unique blend of art and politics through the artistic technique of trompe l’oeil (optical illusion).
Life hilariously imitates art as Trump and his presidency are marched through a series of surrealist art and trompe l’oeil landscapes.
Director Oli Savage said: “For people in the English-speaking world – especially outside of the USA – the Trump administration was one of the most horrifically surreal periods in modern political history. And the scars from that period are far from healed.
“But nothing heals like laughter. With this show, we’re taking a blend of satire, drag, circus, cabaret, with a healthy dollop of surrealist art to show just how crazy that period was. But more than that, we’re trying to have fun, and by taking the piss out of a very, very dark time, create a sense of joy, amusement, and hope.”
Writer Henry Parkman Biggs adds: “After six years of developing Trump L’Oeil, I am thrilled to see this spectacular vision for the show in its London debut. The exemplary energy of the director, Oli Savage, tirelessly tinkering to improve, Mark Crossland’s crafting a coherent musical whole, and Blair Anderson’s thoughtful and creative choreography, have all added immeasurably.
“They are all absolute stars in their own right, and I could not be more grateful for their talents. I have also been grateful for their engagement in exploring the idea of “trompe l’oeil” as well as surrealism and how that might manifest in their respective spaces. The show is so much the richer for it.”
For more information and tickets, visit upstairsatthegatehouse.com