Boorish Trumpson is Sir Simon Rattle’s rather unhinged understudy composer. Soon the audience realise that they are the orchestra and will have to bend to Boorish’s outrageous demands.
The show is audience participation, which can often put people on edge. But Lecoq trained clown Claire Parry is masterful at getting her orchestra onside. She allows the audience to have fun and play, in a completely unabashed childlike way.
Alex Prescot and Lily Levinson’s co-direction allows for the chaos of Trumpson’s ‘rehearsal’ to be permeated by set-pieces revealing the deranged composer’s backstory. Why does this understudy composer want more and more control?
Coupled with Lisa Berg’s excellent movement direction, we get to see a fireworks display of Parry’s limbs to classical music. It is not just classical music, Fizz Margerson’s sound design takes in a range of music as odd as our composer, even the dreaded Chris Martin of Coldplay.
The point of Boorish Trumpson is subtle at first, then hits you over the head. It is an interrogation of power, how people like Trump and Boris Johnson get everyone to play to their tune. There was a lot of funny wordplay, Maraca Bama being our personal favourite.
Trumpson’s aggressive shouts of ‘FAKE MUSIC’ and ‘letting in the wrong rhythm’s’ can sometimes feel clunky and overdone, leaving the audience with little room for interpretation.
Boorish Trumpson is great clowning. It is hard not to ignore how much the audience loved the show, and were completely into it. They warmed to a tinpot dictator with a baton, a perfect illustration of the point the show is making. I can’t imagine the show working at all if the audience are not on board, so if you are going, make sure you’re happy playing the Xylophone!