Posh An absolute Riot
Posh, at the Duke of York’s Theatre, is by far one of the best pieces of theatre I have ever seen. It’s extraordinarily funny, charming and heartbreaking. We are transported into a world that most of us haven’t experienced, a place where the wine is more expensive but the morals are the same.
Written by the outstanding Laura Wade, this play focuses on a group of young men studying at Oxford, all rather wealthy and all very posh, darling. This certain group of trust-fund lovelies is all a part of what is known as the Riot Club. This is a men only club that their fathers and their forefathers were a part of. It’s extremely secret and if you don’t play by the rules, you’re asking for trouble.
The play opens with Guy Bellingfield (Joshua Mcguire) meeting an ex-member of the club for a chat about the clubs possible comeback. The set is made up of a lavish red backdrop with golden frames hung upon it. The portraits are of knights and riding men all in elegant poses. After the two chaps have finished their chat, Guy retrieves his phone, makes a call and announces, “ You won’t bloody believe this. We’re on!”
“I’m sexy and I know it,” blares through the sound system, the portraits come to life and we meet our cast. The boys come flying through the frames and do a dance routine that along with their blaze facial expressions is sassy, fierce and absolutely hysterical.
The musical number coincides with a set change and by the end of it we’re at our venue for the official Riot club meeting, the private event room of a pub out in the country.
Our boys begin to arrive one by one, all with extravagant entrances and all looking rather handsome in their coats and tails. Once everyone’s set and the hilarious upper class jargon has died down, the ‘toasts’ begin, recognizing the many great Riot Club members before them. These brotherhood type traditions are an important part of the clubs legacy and remind the boys not only of what their ancestors built but also of the future before them.
By the main course of ‘ten bird roast’ – a bird in a bird in a bird etc. – the gentlemen have noticed their waitress Rachel (Jessica Ransom) and what starts off as innocent flirting turns into quite frightening pursuit.
In fact, quite a lot of what these boys do starts off as innocent fun. A perfect example of this is the classic ‘Trashing’ that ensues at the end of each meeting, usually ending quietly with a handsome pay-off. Unfortunately no amount of money will help these young men after they take their trashing one step too far.
The entire cast – and I mean everyone – is sublime in this play. Each of the actors compliment each other’s weaknesses and strengths, letting the braver more arrogant characters take the lead while the weaker, sweeter boys hide in the corners, praying they don’t mess up.
The content of this play is reflective of the 2011 riots, too much for one person to comprehend. The fact that the best -bred and finest men of the country result in the same form of anarchy as those children involved in the riots on our door steps says one thing. Money, a title and a degree can’t buy you happiness. You’ll still end smashing stuff up.
Posh is perfection.
Booking From: Friday, 11th May 2012
Booking Until: Saturday, 4th August 2012
Matinees: Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Running Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Duke of York’s
St Martin’s Lane
Content updated 18th October 2014