top of page

Trompe L’Oeil | The Other Palace Studio

Imagine a camp cabaret infused with Donald Trump, and a queer love story..... all in a musical. When I read about the concept of Trompe L'Oeil, I was intrigued by how a show could blend all of this and most importantly if it would work as a new musical, but did it?

I've got to say first of all that this show is a really fun night out and has a lot to enjoy. However, I felt that it’s trying to juggle too many different genres and themes at once, confusing the genre it's trying to achieve. This made the storyline quite confusing, as it felt like there were multiple stories going on at the same time. Although they maybe didn't work as a final product, I did enjoy the two main storylines of the show.

Emer Dineen as Trump is true comedy gold and had some of the most enjoyable scenes in the show. Her portrayal of Trump is very over the top and like a caricature version, which really worked and made it a hilarious watch. Her ad-libs and audience interaction, especially with a heckler in the audience, was amazing and demonstrated pure skill and talent as an actor.

Dominic Booth as Demi and Alex Wadham as Rip had some beautiful scenes together, incorporating the queer love story into the show. They had amazing chemistry which made it so believable and beautiful to watch. I wish there was more of this love story and less of trying to be other things. This was, in my opinion, the best element of the show and adding other genres and storylines into the mix took away from this and made it confusing to understand at times.

I have got to give a shout out to the director and choreographer Blair Anderson who worked well with a pretty confusing script and had some spectacular moments. The choreography mixed with gymnastics and circus elements was great, performed amazingly by the ensemble (William Elijah-Lewis and Yasmin Sharp) which filled the small stage with big moves and made the musical numbers look grand and really impressive.

Talking of music, this is written by Henry Parkman Biggs who also wrote the book. There are some great songs, some favourites of mine being "Not Your Kind Of Girl" & "Hey Diddle Aye", both sung by Demi & Rip ( Dominic Booth and Alex Wadham) which were both beautiful love songs. The finale song "Better Together" was also lots of fun and ended the show on a positive note, which worked really well. Despite this, I felt that the musical genres are just as confused as the story plots, again trying to juggle too many different genres which doesn't work. Not many of the songs in the show were memorable for me, and it's not a show you'll come out of with a tune stuck in your head. The songs are all good in their own ways but unfortunately, for me, they don't fit together cohesively enough to work in a musical.

If you're looking for a fun, camp night out or a beautiful queer love story, you might enjoy Trompe L'Oeil. With a little refinement to clearly define its genre, there could be potential for a great story to be told. Trompe L’Oeil runs at The Other Palace (Studio) until the 15th October. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Danny Kaan


bottom of page