Last night, we attended press night for Mike Bartlett’s viciously funny The 47th. This brilliant satire imagines a possible 2024 election, if Donald Trump were to put down the golf clubs and run again for President, and if Kamala Harris were to replace Biden and run against him.
The cast are outstanding, with Bertie Carvel eerily convincing as Donald Trump. His stance and mannerisms were particularly uncanny – an impressive performance that had the audience laughing and jeering in recognition. Tamara Tunie is incredible as a stoic and formidable Kamala Harris.
Lydie Wilson as also a standout as Ivanka Trump, cold and calculating but also showing pent-up emotion, as if she were about to cry at any moment. As her father mocks, “You’re not going to cry again, are you?” She is struggling to hide her emotion as a sign of perceived weakness and femininity.
The scenes between the three siblings are cleverly written, as we get to see behind the scenes of a family tormented by a tyrannical father.
The text is quite Shakespearian, with characters breaking out into soliloquies that often finish in rhyming couplets. The story too has the air of a Shakespearian tragedy, with power-hungry figures battling their way to the top and paying the price for power.
The question of morality vs. power is central to this play, with characters often having to ask themselves how far they will go to succeed, and how far we should go to stop someone in power who is doing harm to others.
This is particularly prevalent in a scene where a nurse considers the power she has over Donald Trump as her patient. The nurse gives an emotional speech about losing her mum to Covid, as the play touches upon the impact of the pandemic, and the responsibilities of those in power. There are echoes too of January 6th, and the threat of extremists lead by the QAnon Shaman.
Don’t miss Mike Bartlett’s latest political play – full of great performances and powerful themes that will have you talking. Book now – great on-the-day tickets available through TKTS.