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Luke Kempner: Take a Long Hard Luke at Yourself

at Pleasance Courtyard

* * * - -

Excellent impressions impaired by a show that feels incomplete.

Image of Luke Kempner: Take a Long Hard Luke at Yourself

Donald Trump has done at least one positive thing in his tenure to date as President of the United States: provided a whopping great amount of material for the Edinburgh Festival’s comedians, impressionists and cabaret acts. Impressionist Luke Kempner nails his Trump impression and even teaches his small yet anticipatory audience how they too can perfect ‘The Donald’. His ‘Trump’ was degrading of the “Scotch people” which, although very funny, seemed out of place given that Trump has been very open about his Scottish heritage.

But Kempner has a handful of these masterly impressions, ranging from an uncanny Andy Murray to a hilarious Louis Theroux, and a generic Edinburgh accent used particularly well when he performs a comedy sketch based around his mother-in-law.

However, not all of his impressions are ready for stage. Although he admits this in places, it does feel a little unnecessary when he has others which are so good. The concept of the show too is loose. He opens by saying that despite assumptions made of impressionists he is not insecure with who he is, then proceeds to contradict himself throughout by giving a number of scenarios where he did indeed use an impression to cover his uncomfortable feelings. Moreover, with a running tale of his difficult relationship with his father and a concluding message that nobody is truly themselves but many versions of themselves, the theme of the show gets lost.

Kempner is a funny guy, very personable and even shows a glimpse of excellent singing talent during his Pleasance show. He can switch characters with ease and has developed some lengthier, more concise pieces which serve to showcase his talents and range of impressions further. However, the show lacks production value, and is in need of a more succinct script or flow before feeling complete.

/ @aisling1105


Aisling is an English and Dance teacher currently studying for a Masters in Learning and Teaching in the Performing Arts at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is originally from the Highlands but moved to Edinburgh six years ago. When not writing or dancing she enjoys reading, travelling and following her football team.

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