This Friday you get two totally different but both brilliant events at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Up second it’s sexy club fun with the gang from Beefmince, but the night kicks off with lip-sync sensation Ripley and the latest in her Like A Sturgeon series entitled The Emancipation of Melania Trump. Dave Cross spoke to Ripley to find out what we can expect from this presidential show.
Hi Ripley, we know you’ve just got back from Edinburgh, how did it go?
It was incredible. Performing at Edinburgh Fringe was a lifelong dream of mine. Growing up in Edinburgh I was privileged enough to experience it every year as an audience member, but I never imagined I would one day be part of it. And not only was I part of it, I bloomin’ sold out! I couldn’t believe it! The audience each night was so mixed and so positive. I even had a group of high school kids come along with their teacher. How amazing is that?
This Friday you are back at The RVT, what does the venue mean to you?
How can I put it into words? The RVT took a chance on me and my concept, and have given me a platform to experiment on, and it’s become the home of the Like A Sturgeon show. Everyone there is so lovely, and I was honoured to walk with them and the Wandsworth LGBT Forum at Pride in London. There’s so much history to the venue and I feel so hashtag blessed and hashtag humble to be part of its legacy.
How would you describe the Like A Sturgeon series of shows and what you do?
Like A Sturgeon is a political sketch show that’s 100% lip-synced beginning to end to a mixture of my own vocal impressions and music. Each one deals with current issues, so it’s a new show every single time, and has me dressing up as everyone from Nicola Sturgeon to Donald Trump, Arlene Foster and Merkel.
And this is The Emancipation of Melania Trump – what can we expect?
The Emancipation of Melania takes a satirical look at the life of the First Lady – the conspiracies, the plastic surgery, THAT Zara jacket, and the different contradictory identities she embodies. We’ll go back to her humble beginnings in Slovenia, her modelling career, have a glimpse of her home life, and find out what she really thinks about Donald.
And you have Rose Garden and Elle in the show as well?
Yes! Poor Elle has been forced by me to play just about every Trump child possible: first as Barron, then Tiffany, and now she’ll be tackling the role of Park Avenue Princess Ivanka. Rose Garden will be making her first Like A Sturgeon appearance as the original first lady, Ivana Trump, and I can’t wait for you to see that!
Is Melania the best comedy gift you’ve ever been given?
I find Melania absolutely fascinating. She’s one of the most exposed women in the world, and yet we know practically nothing about her. She gives very little away. Could just be the facelift preventing her from showing emotion though. There’s so much speculation about what she gets up to, how she feels about her husband, your imagination just runs wild.
Will any of your other favourites, like Nicola, Angela or Theresa be popping by?
Theresa is busy competing on Strictly so she won’t be able to make it I’m afraid. And Nicola is still in my bad books for not coming along to my Fringe show. However, there will be a special cameo appearance from one of the greatest first ladies in American history. I’ll leave it at that.
What else do you have planned for 2018?
Right now, self care is top of my list! This year has been full on, I need to take stock of the last 12 months and figure out where I’m going. Other than that, writing the next show, mentoring the lovely Poppy Cock for It’s A Knockout at Halfway, and I’m working on branching out into doing more online parody videos. Watch this space!