The 47th @ The Old Vic Review

With the mid-terms for the US presidency due to take place this November, this will determine who makes up the House of Representatives as well as a third of the senate in a currently Democratic run US. Fast forward to 2024 where the US will decide who the 47th president elect will become, the journey towards that final outcome continues. Delving into this meticulous, competitive road to victory, Mike Bartlett presents The 47th, a prophetic, Shakespearean take on one of the world’s most pivotal events.

Flash forward to 2024 and the race to the White House has begun, what this will inevitably look like, we can’t be sure but Bartlett’s ostentatious take on one of the boldest show’s on Earth guides us on a labyrinthine tour of what could possibly be. Trump entertaining ambitions of returning to the White House, Biden ready to remain for another term – the show powered of course by ambition, drive and Machiavelli’s principles of power.

The 47th asks for you to actively analyse and question what politics will look like moving forward, ideologies of the right and left debated, where politics currently stands, both parties differing in opinion – identity, social justice and populism key factors driving politics at the moment, Bartlett’s text rich with provocation, Shakespearean, classical, mighty speeches mythologising America’s prevalent politicians. Rupert Goold directs a vivid, energetic production, speculative interactions fascinating to watch, every moment pivotal and working towards what the world could possibly look like in a couple of years time. Miriam Buether‘s versatile and opulent set places us at the heart of the political world from the White House, to campaign rallies, to underground gatherings, to protests.  Simon Williams‘ Joe Biden a grounded figure, Tamara Tunie‘s Kamala Harris full of gravitas, Bertie Carvel‘s Donald Trump uncanny and Lydia Wilson‘s Ivanka Trump observably ambitious and steely. 

The 47th is a tale of the meticulous vs the improvisational, a tale of influence, ever shifting power dynamics and the what ifs? The fact that this is ahead of time a huge component of how we currently process what we watch, so it’ll be an interesting one to revisit post-election. An entertaining watch.

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

The 47th is currently showing until Saturday 28th May 2022 at The Old Vic, to find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop