Chameleonic three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep has added another terrifyingly accurate impersonation to a vast repertoire that already includes Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, Florence Foster Jenkins and every self-aggrandising narcissist working in fashion: Donald Trump.

As part of a tribute to Shakespeare held last night at New York’s Delacorte Theater for the Public Theatre’s gala benefit, a terribly bewigged Streep donned orange face makeup, a prosthetic gut and all the clownish mannerisms of the myopic Republican presidential candidate for a rendition of ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’, a duet from the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate.

According to the New York Times, Streep – who performed the closing number with Christine Baranski as Hillary Clinton – altered the lyrics of the original song to suit Trump’s truculent behaviour: “We could do a deal — you’ll let me know — why it is all the women say no?” being one such example. However, some of the lyrics also remained unchanged, including the line, “If she says your behaviour is heinous, kick her right in the Coriolanus!” 

The Public Theatre’s artistic director Oskar Eustis told the Times that the performance was “Utterly her idea, beginning to end. There were skeptics, there were doubters, but one of those skeptics was not Meryl Streep. She was absolutely sure she could do it. None of us had seen her in costume or makeup, till she walked out tonight.”

After Streep’s latest Oscar-worthy performance began to gain traction on social media, the noted thespian issued a statement through a Public Theater spokesperson, saying that while “I appreciate the interest, this was a one-off, a once in a (last in a) lifetime appearance of this character.”

Here’s hoping that come November we’ll all be able to say the same.

Tile and cover image: Paul Zimmerman/WireImage via Getty Images

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