Friday, 25 May 2012

Posh

This time a week ago I was sitting on the sidewalk outside the Duke of York's Theatre on St. Martin's Lane in central London. It was an hour and a half until the box office opened. I was wearing my winter coat with mittens and earmuffs on standby.

Today is a very different day. To begin with, it is hot in London! Shorts, skirts, t-shirts and sunscreen are the order of the day. Love it. That, however, will be another post. One which I will relish writing, but today is about Posh, my new theatre love.



Posh is a fantastic, witty and dark play by Laura Wade. It is a play that makes me want to be a playwright. Back in fall 2011 I participated in a reading of Posh with a bunch of other non-actors and though our acting was more than suspect, the brilliant writing shone through. The play had already run at the Royal Court and so I thought there was little chance of me ever seeing it. But then the theatre gods smiled and the Royal Court gave it a second run at The Duke of York's Theatre. Yay!

So Friday morning, I queued up for the amazingly priced £10 day-of tickets. Two hours, a little backup from a friend and one cranky fellow queue-r later I had in hand four front row tickets to that evening's performance of Posh. Girls night out at the theatre.

Posh follows  the ten members of the Riot Club through one wild night filled with excesses. The Riot Club is apparently based on the real-life Bullingdon Club whose members include Prime Minister, David Cameron, Chancellor, George Osborne, and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. The ten young men are wealthy, entitled, wildly conservative and headed for great things.

As they eat and drink to excess, things get progressively more out of control as they rail against the working class, touching on many of the major national and international events of the last few years including the London riots, the economic collapse of Greece and the international recession. Laura Wade has written a timely and pithy look at our society. I won't give away the ending, but sufficed to say it is dark and shocking and frighteningly possible.

The cast is incredibly strong with some of what will certainly be rising stars in both stage and screen acting over the coming years. They strike a fine balance between being completely odious and humourously likeable. Wade has written characters for whom you feel deeply sorry while still hating their behaviour. The banter between the boys is quick, witty and very natural. You feel like they could be any well-dressed chap walking down the street. Then, they break into acapella song and you realise that there cannot be a more talented cast. Wade's script slips flawlessly from addressing misogyny and class wars to Labrinth's "Earthquake" and the cast is with her every step of the way.

This is an unmissable play and I'm definitely thinking about going again! You can line up outside the theatre any morning for the £10 tickets (though, you probably don't need to go until 9) or find them online at: http://duke-of-yorks.official-theatre.co.uk/london/posh .

As the Riot Club boys might say: It's totes awesome.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing post. Amazing play. "It is a play that makes me want to be a playwright," says it all.

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