The People vs Donald Trump, 2 Stars

The People vs Donald Trump
The London Theatre
19th to 24th Sept 2017

“The London Theatre is proud to showcase the world premiere of political satire The People Vs Donald
Trump. This is a highly provocative and entertaining expose of what one imagines has occurred “behind
closed doors” during combustible interactions between Trump, his family members, and associates,
followed by a semi-improvised trial, where writer Max Lopert and Trump performer Matthew Shelton
debate Trump’s actions in office.
No punches are pulled in this daring and unprecedented depiction of Trump and his bullying, narcissistic,
dishonest, and greedy persona, even when it comes to his own children. Everyone’s worst suspicions of
how this man got elected and pushed his way to the top are realized on stage in this tragicomedy, which
culminates in a criminal trial of Trump for using his office to betray the American people and enrich
himself at all costs.
The play is written and directed by American playwright Max Lopert, formerly a successful trial lawyer
with experience as a Special Attorney in the US Attorney’s Office in San Francisco. His extraordinary
record in winning jury trials, both for the federal government and in private practice, will be displayed in
the cross-examination of Trump at the climax of the play.
The part of Donald Trump will be played by US actor/director Matthew Shelton. His mother, Jean Shelton,
is the renowned San Francisco acting instructor; his late father, Robert Elross, was an actor; and his
brother and sister, Christian Phillips and Wendy Phillips, are both actor-directors. Matthew is artistic
director of Shelton Theater, specialising in method acting (as taught by Stella Adler and popularised by
Marlon Brando), where he teaches acting, directs plays and short films, and occasionally acts in
independent films.
The play will run six nights only in London before it’s moving to a larger venue. The author has chosen to
stage this play in London in light of recent riots in the US that make it clear that this powerful play needs
a British audience.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 2 Stars

With a great cast and wicked concept this show is very entertaining. The hour long show trots along with pace and is great fun!

The problem for me is that the production quality is severely lacking. There are chairs and a table and 1 television to show some of Trump’s gaffs and evidence of his controversy and inconsistency. The House Lights go out as a Bump, the LED Lights come on as a Bump and there’s a single bulb which flickers between scenes during scene changes.

With hooks screwed into the ceiling for the lights and cables, and only a few rows of seats, it does feel extremely minimal and fringey.

The Television for most of the time displays the timeline showing the video has finished and is waiting for someone to press Play. Not even a show poster as placeholder output between the video clips.

The Printed Programme has a disclaimer “Please note that this fringe productions has been put together in only 7 days.” Really? Many Fringe production musicals with full tech have been put together in 10 days. Not sure this is a valid disclaimer/excuse.

Not quite sure why there are only 2 men in the Cast when so many of the characters are men. It’s tough for the audience to see a woman as the strong male character and 3 of the male characters are played by women.

Once presented with the introduction to the characters, and the evidence, the audience is asked to participate in the Court’s proceedings. Would have been nice to have a vote and find Trump guilty (or otherwise) of the charges against him. If we’d been asked to come to a verdict it would have rounded off the evening very nicely. Instead the decision of the Court is proclaimed, the play buttons, and the cast coem onstage to take their well deserved bows. I so wanted to vote! Robbed of this delightful opportunity!

But despite these failings the show is worth seeing! The Cast of 9 pull out all the stops and it’s a thought provoking play.

Photo Credit Mark Webb

Title The People Vs Donald Trump
Playwright Max Lopert
Director Sarah Bostock
Performance Dates September 19th 2017 – September 24th 2017
Tuesday– Saturday, 8pm
Sunday matinee at 5pm
Running Time 75 mins
Venue The London Theatre, 443 New Cross Rd, New Cross, London SE14 6TA
Ticket Price £12.50/£6.25 (concessions)
Box Office The London Theatre (, 0208 694 1888
Travel New Cross station (2 minute walk)