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Nothing Like a Lady: Trump tops 2021 Clowns and Villains cast | Simon tisdall

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WWould Donald Trump make a good pantomime lady? Her orange face, crazy lyrics, weird hair, and loose, drooping outfits are perfect for Mother Goose or Widow Twankey. Angry, chaotic, ever-changing, Trump might find cross-dressing a challenge. Again, maybe not.

The future role of America’s “very stable genius” is just one of many dramatic questions to mark the end of a dark year in which politics have often descended into a dark farce. World leaders have too often been used as political pantomime, not as serious and sane governing. You had to laugh or else you would cry.

Pantomimes – theatrical entertainment based on folk stories and fairy tales that features clownish caricatures, old songs and cheesy gags, slapstick comedies, naughty innuendos and a certain genre shift – have their roots in commedia. Italian dell’arte. They offer slight relief, distraction, and a chance to poke fun at the powerful.

Characters such as Harlequin, Scaramouche, Pierrot and Pantaloon were metamorphosed on the 19th century English and American scene into dashing heroes and cutesy heroines, contemptible villains, incorrigible scallywags, weak faps and hilarious fools. All are mocked and ridiculed, often with satirical intent.

Modern pantos remain very popular – and Boxing Day is traditionally when the curtain goes up. Some performances in the UK have been canceled or postponed again this year due to Covid concerns. But as players and directors still insist, the show must go on.

So after all the avoidable and inevitable crises, catastrophes and heartaches that world leaders have endured on everyone over the past 12 months, it is only fair to indulge in a little bit of virtual seasonal nonsense and taunt at their costs. Give the casting of Political Panto 2021 a big helping hand!

The Lady: Physical characteristics aside, Trump’s claim to be a lady is bolstered by his unparalleled ability to brag, brag and boast. It can also be extremely, unintentionally fun. Just last week, the “once and future king” claimed the pandemic was a Chinese plot to foil its legitimate attempt to rule the world.

US presidents often overthrow foreign governments. Trump was the first to attempt to overthrow his, redefining the concept of a banana republic. He jokes that he won the 2020 election – and keeps a straight face. He even thinks Vlad “the Impaler” Putin is cool. Plus, Trump would look cute in a dress. Oh, what a lady!

The clown: Many suitors compete for the role of comic leader. Key players include Éric Zemmour, the far-right presidential candidate of Algerian descent, who says immigrants are destroying France, and Armin Laschet, the German conservative who thought the floods were a laughing matter – until then let him be drowned.

Channeling Dick Whittington, fallen idol Daniel Ortega has once again been elected mayor of Nicaragua! Turbaned Iranian chief mullah Ebrahim Raisi, who manages to hide his funny side, insisted he really didn’t want nuclear bombs. Hey, Netanyahu! I’m joking!

Turkish straight Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would jail Cinders, Goldilocks and the Pantomime Horse and Cow if he thought they were supporting the Kurds.

Yet after several standing auditions at posh drinking clubs in Eton, Oxford and Westminster, this year’s comic book crown returns to Downing Street’s Buttons: knockabout gagster Boris Johnson, the alleged British Prime Minister. BoJo partied regardless as a locked-down nation laughed (or just died). While fools, charlatans and charlatans go, there’s no beating Boris!

The fairy godmother: This wonderful panto pixie dispenses universal goodwill, starlight and transcendent happiness without resorting to class A drugs. Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, her magical powers protect her protege from a horrible fate, ensuring her a happy life forever. Sic.

This godmother concert was performed for 16 years by the good fairy Angela Merkel, known to Germans as “Mutti” (Mum), firmly guiding a sleepy and neglected EU. Merkel has appropriated the role. Now she hangs up her wand. Boo! Bad Fairies Liz Truss and Ursula von der Leyen are less glamorous liners.

The main boy: This cool character, traditionally played by a woman in pantyhose and thigh-high boots, might suit Joe Biden, who is so sweet it hurts – even if he could trip over on his heels. Gabriel Boric, the young socialist elected president of Chile last week, can go far – except that the same has been said of Salvador Allende.

Yet with his charisma, sexy favorites and strategic vision (as shown in his CV), Emmanuel Macron, the pocket-sized French president also known as Manu, Jupiter and “choupinet” (poppet or my darling) , is a boy. Macron promises to save Europe. Carol’s singers sing with gratitude: “O come, O come, Emmanuel! “

The mean one: The bad guys were 10 a penny in 2021, and it’s hard to say who was the worst. Belarusian Alexander Lukashenko staged a vicious parody of Babes in the wood using helpless refugees. Hungarian Viktor Orbán, like the petty grumpy man who stole Christmas, tried to undo democracy.

In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, the wicked witch of the West who denies climate change, could not see the wood of the felled trees. Like Aladdin, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, rubbed his lamp – and dreamed of erasing his opponents. Myanmar genocidal general Min Aung Hlaing, North Korean Kim Jong-un and Filipino Rodrigo Duterte made the Three Sisters ugly looking positive. In Russia, Putin – when he was not threatening to invade Ukraine – played Robin Hood inside out, stealing from the poor to enrich the oligarchs.

But it is the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, who gets the green light as the meanest of all. Whether it was horror in Xinjiang, hooliganism in Hong Kong, threats to crush Taiwan, questionable debt deals in Africa, or cyberespionage around the world, Xi seemed to be everywhere, like a giant villain. beanstalk or a wide-eyed fire-breathing dragon.

Where’s St George when you really need him? As the political pantomime season of 2022 opens, watch out for Xi. He’s behind you! Oh yes it is!

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