Theatre review: Melania

Melania seems grateful fo Jackie Kennedy's advice
Melania seems grateful fo Jackie Kennedy's advice
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JUST imagine – no, go on, try – that you are Melania Trump, unhappy in the White House. You are a good looking ex-model from humble origins in Slovenia who arrived in America determined to find wealth and security by marrying a rich man, and achieved that goal; only to find him making an unexpected run for the White House. You voted for Hillary, and assumed everyone else would do the same. Yet to your horror, he won; and now here you are, beset by tedious duties, mocked for your heavy East European accent, and under constant public scrutiny alongside a husband you don’t even like.

Oran Mor, Glasgow ****

This is the premise behind this week’s Play, Pie and Pint summer mini-musical, by Hilary Brooks and Clive King; and it proves a pretty entertaining one, particularly after two previous incumbents – Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie Kennedy – pop out of the East Wing woodwork to offer support and advice. Given that this is a fantasy born in the age of #Metoo, Melania’s path from misery to independence and self-empowerment follows a predictable emotional path; and the songs are frankly none too memorable, apart from one absolute beauty called Happy At The End Of The World, about the Cuban Missile Crisis, sung unforgettably by the brilliant Frances Thorburn as Jackie Kennedy.

Yet the wit and timeliness of the show – deliciously delivered, in Ken Alexander’s production, by Kirsty Malone as Melania, with Margaret Preece as the deeply political Mrs Roosevelt – makes it a hugely enjoyable experience; full not only of fine political jokes, but also of the odd unexpected moment of real political joy, and hope.

JOYCE MCMILLAN

Final performance today