Posh is a portrayal of an Oxford University dining club that could be viewed as a parody of the real life Bullingdon Club, Prime Minister David Cameron being among its past members. It follows the night of the ‘Riot Club’ who have rented out a country pub’s dining room for their termly dinner. Things quickly get out of hand as more wine is consumed. You soon become accustomed to the ridiculously posh accents. While it is predominantly light-hearted, as the play progresses, it grapples with deep-rooted class issues in society that are relevant to students and society today.
Director Bridie Rollins and producer Martha Rose Wilson have created a three-course production of all things posh. Dressed in suits throughout, the actors are engaging and convincing in their roles as members of the ‘Riot Club’. They make fun of eachother -as all good friends do-contributing to the feeling that they really are good friends.
The setting could not be further away from University dinner halls the average student is familiar with. Consisting of a decadent dining room with a candle-lit atmosphere the scenery transports you into the world of the elite. It is the perfect location for chaos to ensue as the men tuck into an eight bird roast, while some of the members vie for the position of President. Unexpected things occur such as the appearance of a prostitute and a couple of musical numbers, including the national anthem; the quality of singing is surprisingly good!
The comedy and delivery of one-liners makes the performance particularly entertaining. The whole cast bounce off each other and really simulate the ‘LAD’ culture that has clearly been around for a long time. From the opening scene Giles Gear (Guy) is excellent and gives an effortlessly humorous performance. Nick Jeffery (Harry) is also brilliant at being self-centred and bigoted while also funny, and Nick Hughes (Alistair) is especially effective at being a truly horrible human being! Each of the cast brings a unique quality to the performance and deservedly receive a positive reception from the packed theatre. Chloe Bickford (Rachel) and Verity Spencer (Charlie) manage to hold their own in scenes dominated by very loud (and often abusive) characters which is no mean feat.
Conservative values and culture is presented as absurd and we gain an insight into the lives of those who use money as an answer to everything; it gets them out of many sticky situations. The second act of the play is when the real action happens as Alistair reveals a deep hatred for the poor and bullies those around him. Tom Savage (Chris/Jeremy) takes on the task of playing both the rich godfather of Guy and the landlord of the inn and does so extremely well, receiving the brunt of the members’ taunts as the landlord.
While some of the banter was a bit repetitive towards the end of the first act, the play soon picked up in the second and continued to entertain right through to the end. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a laugh at the expense of the rich. Is it worth going to see? Yah!
Posh runs at The Nottingham New Theatre until Saturday 16th March. To reserve tickets email [email protected]