I was going to post about seeing Ripley’s Like A Sturgeon: Trump Tops at the RVT on March 9th upon my return from London but illness got in the way. Still, there is never a time limit on praise. In that time I was ill, Facbook also brought up a memory from a year ago that made me realise I don’t just want to write about, I need to write about and if you haven’t yet seen Ripley perform, you need to get your arse down to wherever she is on stage next. In fact, the next instalment of Like A Sturgeon: Fake News will be on Friday June 15, 2018 at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Get yourself a ticket here.
The memory that Facebook brought up was a year ago, hubby and I were downstairs at Halfway to Heaven watching Rose Garden when she brought Ripley on stage as her guest. You can read my original posting on that here. I was personally touched when she tweeted it as a reminder to remain defiant in her art. Not everyone needs to get what she does, but she needs to do what she does and if you ask me, in this day and age if you don’t get what she is doing, then you haven’t been paying attention. Wake up people, this is not a drill.
In that time, she has gone from strength to strength with her third instalment of Like A Sturgeon: Top Trumps at the RVT. Those who were in attendance will agree that she set the bar even higher than ever. As she told me, the show was three months in production and the reaction of the audience I hope made her realise how much it was all worth it. We had a friend visiting from New York who was floored by her performance and said to us that he wished performers in the US were doing what she does.
Returning characters like Nicola Sturgeon were present as was Melania, who this time was not the only Trump in attendance. Ripley brought out Donald, Ivanka, and even Byron. With the help of her drag daughter Elle, we were treated to Byron Trump (click here for video), Tiffany Trump and that sneaky Putin. If you go to Ripley’s Facebook page (click here) and see the videos, you will never think of Tatu’s “All the Things She Said” in the same light again.
As with previous shows, Like A Sturgeon was set to Ripley’s own pre-recorded voice, giving us insight into the political villains of the current time. Usually Theresa May and most recently Arlene Foster have been her choice of attack but this time, it was all Trump. Simultaneously scary and hilarious. The portrayals were like the Trump themselves, you are not really sure if what you are seeing is believable or a joke. Their sinister monologues were spliced with sound bites from the likes of Rhianna, Kate Bush, and so many more. A special mention to Bjork as Melania informs us of her own morning ritual in Hyperballad. Not just content with giving us this, the video in the background set to Madonna’s “What It Feels Like for a Girl” showed “Donald Trump” putting on make-up and women’s clothes was the stuff of YouTube viral dreams. If it were ever released to the public, I am sure that is where it would end up. Trump’s level of misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, racism, etc were given the treatment that would have caused his twitter calloused fingers to whittle down to the bone.
Swooping in at the very end, to give us that stern sensibility that has earned her the post of First Minister of Scotland and of course Mother of Dragons was Nicola Sturgeon. Performing her signature tune of Like A Sturgeon and giving us her wee insight into the state of the world, plus her obligatory dig at Theresa May. Ripley’s Sturgeon leaves us thinking that perhaps she may be the only sane political leader on this wee island of ours.
John Lugo-Trebble considers this more of a space to engage personal reflections and memories with connections to music and film.