REVIEW: The President Tour (The Classic)

Review by Tim George

Fuck.

[The Future is Now]

With hideously perfect timing Alexander Sparrow’s new show The President Tour arrives at the Classic to offer a terrifying view into the mind of US president-elect Donald Trump.

The lead-up to this show was a series of ironies. Most of the audience did not turn up because they were following the results. As Trump (the real one) was heading for the finish line we were sitting down to watch the show. And as someone called out the final result, the lights went down and the show started to extremely nervous giggles.

Sparrow’s impression is great. Not because he gets the man’s ticks (excellent) and voice (okay) down, but because he nails the core of Trump’s personality — the careening train of thought, the completely superficial understanding of the world, and overriding focus on putting himself at the centre of attention.

Constructed as a brainstorming session for his latest book, Trump treats the audience as potential ghostwriters. He runs through what he plans to do in office (build the wall; empower his supporters as his ‘personal army’; change the law so he can nail his daughter and keep the Trump dynasty going, Pharaoh-style), while getting ready for Melania to take him to his next tanning session.

It’s a darker, richer interpretation than I thought it would be, feeling more akin to Anthony Atamanuik’s sociopathic iteration than Alec Baldwin’s clownish buffoon. Sparrow has clearly done his homework, and does not hold back from digging right down to expose the sheer, careless evil behind Trump’s muddled rhetoric. The show has its share of laughs, but Sparrow’s greatest success may be the revelation that, when it comes to Trump, there is nothing to laugh about.

The President Tour plays at The Classic until 12 Nov. Details see Eventfinda

SEE ALSO: Theatreview.org.nz review by Nik Smythe

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