King Donald the 1/5th

Sun 1st April – Tickets £9 (concessions £8)

This is the latest production from ‘The Rattle ‘n’ Roll Players who brought us ‘Shakespeare Rattle ‘n’ Roll in October 2016. Writer of that show and this one is Gabriel Channan.

Gabriel has taken the story of Donald Trump and reset it in a fictional land long ago. Here is Gabriel’s own analysis 0f the play.

‘A rich, aggressive merchant plots to seize the throne in 17th-century Egoland. Who can save the country – and the world – from his destructive policies? This prophetic satire with Shakespearean overtones will help you laugh at things that would otherwise make you cry.

Like many of us, I couldn’t at first believe that Trump had been elected. Writing the play was a form of therapy. I desperately needed to laugh at a cataclysm which was far from a laughing matter. At the same time I found it fascinating to try to depict a state of mind where words are instruments for denying reality instead of revealing it.

Simply trying to portray the new president wouldn’t have worked. Events were bound to move fast. And it clearly isn’t just Trump that’s at issue. So I created another Donald, similar in character but far removed in fictional time and place. This distance permits a complete story, compassing his fall as well as his rise.

We find ourselves in the powerful kingdom of Egoland, a few centuries ago. Rich merchant Donald, bored with his empire of taverns, hunting grounds, racecourses and houses of ill repute, and annoyed by repeated demands for the tax he has evaded, decides that his best defence against the kingdom is to seize control of it. If he has a faint inkling that his meddling may destroy his country, and himself with it, that’s just another one of the realities he denies.

Coming to this subject after the Rattle’n’Roll Players’ two Shakespeare-based plays seemed quite a natural transition. There will always be interest in the phenomenon of how Trump came to power, which the first half of our play reflects. In the second half we imagine a partial resolution based on the historical observation that the fate of tyrants – and would-be tyrants – is decided perhaps more by those close to them than by their outright opponents. How our fantasy solution resonates with real events at the time you come across this play may change from day to day, giving an experimental quality to our deceptively light-hearted story.’

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