Erich McIlroy opens his set with an apology. As an American living in Britain, he says, he’s sorry for the president that the USA has inflicted upon the world. This show was born, he tells us, from the countless encounters with other parents at his children’s school, in the face of whose confusion he was forced to try and explain the phenomenon that is Donald Trump.
McIlroy is a self-depreciating, cynical comic, who could perhaps seem a bit much at 3.45pm in the afternoon. It surprised me that while he managed to avoid too much pessimism about Donald Trump and the current political situation, there was an overwhelming negativity in his jokes and complaints about the venue, the free Fringe, being a comedian and his family and lifestyle.
That said, there are some hilarious gems throughout the show, and McIlroy manages to create a good balance between sharp political satire and observational comedy about his own life. As the title suggests, a lot of the set is about Donald Trump, but by combining this with other subjects and fresh up-to-the minute material, McIlroy keeps the show interesting.
There are a few jokes that fall a bit flat. McIlroy reacts as if they were in bad taste and the audience didn’t approve, but in my case I just didn’t realise he was making a joke until he waited for laughter. In general, McIlroy talks fast and laughs often, and it can be hard to know where exactly the punchline falls.
Erich McIlroy Tops Trump is funny and hilariously relatable for anyone who’s ever done the school-run. A few jokes don't work and the self-pitying negativity gets a bit uncomfortable at times, but otherwise the show is original and entertaining.