All the President’s Men at Vaudeville Theatre
Riveting and chilling, All the President’s Men, edited by Nicolas Kent, presents a verbatim reenactment of the 2017 US Senate confirmations hearings for President Trump’s Cabinet. A National Theatre one-time performance last night at the Vaudeville, it will also run on 11th May for one night at the Town Hall in New York.
With readings selected from the hearings, we witness questioning of and testimony by Trump Administration nominees Rex Tillerson, Tom Price, Scott Pruitt, and Jeff Sessions for the key positions of Secretary of State, Health and Human Services Secretary, Environmental Protection Administrator and Attorney General.
Entailing grueling and brilliant cross examinations, Democrats and Republicans ask tough questions with often evasive responses. Partisan discord is characteristically strong, but in this case, it is clear that this is far more than party bickering business as usual. Trump’s candidates appear to have in common personal financial interests as directives, dangerous liaisons with Putin, and deceptive disregard for the environment, human welfare and rule of law.
The irony behind Trump’s cabinet choices is glaring: Rex Tillerson, ex-CEO of big oil company ExxonMobil is nominated to be in charge of foreign affairs. Tom Price is a physician and drug company investor chosen for the role of Health Secretary – in the US, medicine is a for profit profession and drug companies run amuck with massively unaffordable prices – climate change denier Scott Pruitt is the nominee for Environmental Protection Administrator, and Jeff Sessions – whose statements contradict his records and who is clearly in Trump’s pocket – is the choice for Attorney General, a position requiring the utmost integrity and independence from governmental policy. All are major investors in companies whose interests contradict those of the American people and ultimately the world at large.
If these hearings were fiction they would be comical, but they are tragically factual. Brilliantly reenacted by a cast of seasoned actors and well-known veterans such as Nathan Osgood, Phil Davis, Sinead Cusack, Peter Davison and Sian Phillips, the piece was stunningly real. The questioning was brilliantly precise and engrossingly astute, perceptive, penetrating and at times stingingly witty.
An impressive work and an important statement about a highly alarming and dangerous situation, All the President’s Men should be performed not once or twice, but often. It needs to be seen.
Photo: Tristram Kenton
All the President’s Men was at Vaudeville Theatre on 24th April 2017, for further information visit here.