Trump on Show, a Cantonese opera which portrays an imaginary version of the US president’s personal life and that of his fictional twin brother, Chuan Pu, who lives in China, sold out the Sunbeam Theatre, Hong Kong’s famous Cantonese opera house, earlier this month.
The three-hour opera opens with America’s first family moving into the White House. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, discovers an old suitcase containing an English version of Chairman Mao’s The Little Red Book, which details ideas on class struggle by the founder of modern communist China.
In the Hong Kong show, Donald Trump visits China and meets Mao and Zhou En-lai, the first premier of communist China. Trump is also visited in the US by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Playwright Li Kui-Ming explains that his opera aims to grab the audience’s attention rather than focusing seriously on international politics. He hopes that one day Trump on Show could even be performed at the White House, or in Pyongyang for Kim Jong Un.
Li rewrote the script 10 times to keep it up to date, with the US-China trade war and the controversial arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou both woven into the plot.
Li released Chairman Mao three years ago, the first installation of his Mao trilogy, and after Trump on Show, the second play, he plans to conclude the series with a story about Mao and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.
Li Kui-Ming said:
‘Donald Trump is the most topical person in the world. If we can write about him in a play, it will definitely help attract people’s attention to the culture of Cantonese opera.’