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Fringe 2017: Draining the Swamp — A Musical Tweet

Draining the Swamp: A Musical Tweet

Written by Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Mel Tuck


Donald Trump is a fraud, a con artist and a clown. That’s how I feel anyway, and evidently, the creators of  Draining the Swamp do too. This 2017 Fringe Festival entry takes a comical in-depth look into the metaphor that Donald Trump used throughout his 2016 presidential campaign. In this performance, Trump persuades people—good and bad—to help him get to the “swamp” which here is used as a metaphor for the glory land.

Honestly, this play was was extremely entertaining and riveting with one exception: the actor who played Donald Trump. Not that he did a bad job; the accent was fantastic at the start of the production, but then it seemed to disappear after the first musical number. The play opens with Donald alongside a helpless driver and a work associate, enticing people to join his campaign by promising that when they get to the swamp, the reward will be a large sum of money and glory. He also sways a second-rate working man who will do anything to be successful for his family. However, throughout the play ‘Donald’ continuously throws his helpers under the bus in an attempt to be the most powerful man in the world. Inevitably, the man’s wife tries to sue Donald with the help of his former associate testifying to a court of law. While the court charges the Donald, he is let off the hook because he is part of the 1% of Americans who don’t conform to everyday rules. He is elite and someone who simply cannot be charged with crime.

This play was fun and overly cheerful, with a ton of good numbers and songs. The acting took a hit though, because certain cast members got better roles because of their singing voices. However, the play overall was a huge success and a cheerful look into the events leading up to and following Trump’s election. It takes us through the roller coaster of emotions we felt watching a human being treat people of all classes like garbage simply because they think they are above others. It is a perfect compliment to the now-dictator of the USA. A man who could care less about the world and seems to simply be here on earth for his own wealth and gain. The cast does a perfect job of portraying him as he really is in the world today. 

The 2017 Fringe Festival (Sept 7 -17) is underway and LINK has been busy checking out select shows. In the festival creators’ own words, “The Fringe strives to break down traditional boundaries and encourage open dialogue between audiences and artists by presenting live un-juried, uncensored theatre in an accessible and informal environment.” Follow along with us and be sure to check out this year’s festival.