The cast of Trump'd! in a rehearsalJack Lewy

“From the creators of UKIP: The Musical, Full Frontal Prudity and Laugh You Long Time comes an all new parody musical…: Trump’d!” the teaser trailer entices us. But “Why a parody musical about Donald Trump?” I hear you ask.

I spoke to Adam Woolf, one of the show’s writers, backstage at a rehearsal. When asked exactly that question he spoke of the team’s motivation: “We saw the big news of Trump across the pond and we first started writing the show because we felt that satire is the best way to take down someone like that. At the time there wasn’t a lot of satire based on him; people were taking him seriously and at his word.”

And now that he’s the odds-on Republican candidate? “Our perspective has changed: Trump came in as this crazy outsider who no one thought stood a chance but now he is a very serious, scary, problem who is probably going to win the Republican nomination. We have changed things to reflect that: we’ve gone for a bit more of trying to cast a judgement on him rather than just taking the mick.”

The cast have started to rehearse one of the numbers in the main auditorium. “Is that Les Mis?” I ask. Adam says that he couldn’t possibly comment. Why did the team pick the songs they did? “They’re really fun songs – songs that we like,” Adam replies, “Some of them have a direct parody relevance in our story; they are used in the same stage of the story in Trump’d! as they are in the musical which they have been taken from”. Audience members can also expect some “slightly left-field Disney songs” too - although exactly which songs that statement could refer to remains a mystery.

Director Dan Stephens notes how as a musical the satire is more easily accessible. Talking about the show he explains that the musical is a “very clever medium, a medium people can enjoy and relate to but still take something away from”. Thus, it seems, while the audience are enjoying the spectacle they are also privy to a point being proved – albeit one smoke screened by satire. He adds “I don’t know whether [Trump] would actually understand the satire though”.

One of the main challenges of the production for him has been ensuring that the ensemble cast, a lot of whom are mainly comedic actors (“Which is important because it has to be funny.”) reach that musical standard. “Marrying the two aspects of comedy and musicality” has been the most important part of the rehearsal process according to the production’s director.

Speaking to Matt Gurtler and Dan Allum-Gruselle, the actors who will be playing the roles of Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger respectively  it became clear how much enthusiasm they have for the writing. “It’s funny,” Matt says, “it really is.” - and not just because he would say that in his position. Dan highlights the songs as particular surprisingly comic moments.

With a mix of real-life and original characters in the show, has it been difficult to imitate the characters whom audience members will recognise? Dan admits that it has been a little bit of a challenge: “I don’t physically lend myself to an Arnold Schwarzenegger but I think that’s hopefully part of the fun. It does give us a specific reference point: how to say our words and portray ourselves physically.”

Matt admits that he’s spent “a few odd moments over the last few weeks watching a lot of random Youtube videos of Donald Trump trying to pick up on some of his mannerisms”. Let’s hope someone doesn’t stumble upon that internet history and think the worst.

Why should people come see the show then? Matt – if you pardon the pun – trumps up: “It brings in so many well-known songs and puts them in the context of a dystopian America led by Donald Trump. What’s not to love about that?”

Trump’d! runs from Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th May at 11pm at the ADC Theatre.