Last Updated on 12th April 2022
Bertie Carvel stars as Donald Trump in Mike Bartlett’s play The 47th now playing at London’s Old Vic. Here’s what the reviewers thought.
Trump arrives on stage in a golf buggy, throwing out a prologue after which his children stride on looking like expensively dressed accountants with lacquered helmet hair. Bertie Carvel’s Trump calls himself the devil and proceeds to have all the best lines. He also bears all the tics and inflections of the real Donald, encapsulating Trump’s swaggering facility to amuse and to showboat, to coin an offensive catchphrase and use it to best effect. Tamara Tunie as Kamala Harris is just as magnetising in her performance, exuding strength and bounce but, like Carvel, steers away from a simple Dead Ringers-style impersonation.
Arifa Akbar, The Guardian ✭✭✭
Carvel’s performance is uncanny, if parodic. He perfectly captures Trump’s physical tics – the mewling lips, the prissy gestures – as well as the carping, monomaniac bleat. There are terrific performances too from a charismatic Tamara Tunie as Harris, promoted to president when Simon Williams’s doddery Joe Biden falls mysteriously ill after shaking Trump’s hand at Jimmy Carter’s funeral: and from an icy Lydia Wilson as Ivanka, a ruthless dominatrix Barbie with ironed hair and a wardrobe full of bodycon dresses and spike heels.
Nick Curtis, Evening Standard ✭✭✭✭
Bertie Carvel is astoundingly good as an anarchic Donald Trump in Mike Bartlett’s audacious blank verse drama.
Andrez Lukowski, Time Out ✭✭✭✭
Mike Bartlett’s new blank verse play about the 2024 US presidential election is not always satisfying but front and centre is a stupendous turn from Carvel as Donald Trump… Bertie Carvel is magnificent.
Natasha Tripney, The Stage ✭✭✭
The 47th runs at the Old Vic until 28 May 2022