Davor Golub takes a walk on the toff side of life. Photo: Johan Persson
New writing in the West End exploring contemporary Britain
is sadly thin on the ground these days. It is therefore a pleasure to report
that Laura Wade’s Posh has made a thrilling transfer to the West End two years
after its successful premiere at the Royal Court. Funny, shocking and thought provoking it has been updated
since its initial run to include spot on references to the coalition and
austerity Britain which add depth and bite to a hugely entertaining play.
The bulk of the play takes place over the course of one
evening as the privileged members of an Oxford dining club called the Riot Club
(which bears a frightening resemblance to the infamous Bullingdon Club whose
former members include David Cameron and Boris Johnson) assemble for an night
of dining, drinking and debauchery. The young men’s sense of entitlement and
superiority is only heightened by their consumption of alcohol as they bemoan
the state of modern Britain where they are made to feel like a guest in their
country piles run by the National Trust.
While this description might suggest that the characters are unsympathetic they nevertheless remain likeable and the tightly directed cast brings a clarity and individuality to the characters which might have easily slipped into stereotype. With an intriguing design and some very clever and unexpected directorial flourishes this is a play they explores the British obsession with class in an amusingly satirical manner and is a fascinating companion piece to Mike Leigh’s 1977 classic Abigail’s Party which is playing around the corner at the Wyndhams. Sadly, Wade clearly demonstrates that true social mobility still eludes us and that the British obsession with class remains entrenched.
VERDICT: **** (Four Stars) Funny, entertaining, thought provoking and ten very cute posh boys to ogle. What more could a theatregoer ask for.
Venue: Royal Court at the Duke of York’s
Dates: 11th May - 4th August
Playwright: Laura Wade
Director: Lyndsey Turner
Cast Includes: Max Bennett, Leo Bill, Pip Carter, Jolyon
Coy, Richard Goulding, Edward Kinningback, Harry Lister Smith, Henry
Lloyd-Hughes, Joshua McGuire, Tom Mison