POSH was legendary, smashing, and all the other words its characters use to effusively praise things. In short, it’s a riot.
Everyone was excited for Posh, tickets selling out incredibly quickly and their Facebook event littered with people begging for tickets.
The pressure was definitely on for them to live up the hype and, in this humble (lol) reviewer’s opinion, the play definitely did.
A worryingly apropos play featuring privilege, misogyny and entitlement, Posh is about the antics of the Riot Club, an invented Oxford social club clearly based on the infamous Bullingdon Club. All ten of the club members are wonderfully interpreted, managing to strike the balance between funny and charming and completely revolting in the things they say. Without this duality, the play would have lost much of its draw but luckily the actors handled their parts admirably.
A special commendation has to go to both Joe Pieri who, as the brand new, slightly overly keen initiate Ed, never failed to make me laugh from his corner of the table. Also to Seth Kruger playing what could be considered the play’s “main” character Alistair. His star turn occurs midway through the show, as the club gets drunker and drunker during dinner and he allows himself a tirade, ostensibly about the missing bird in a ten-bird-roast, but which ends bitingly with “I am sick to fucking death of poor people.” It’s rare a monologue and it creates such a mixed reaction in audience – you want to applaud the performance but the sentiment leaves you quite revolted.
The show is not without fault, although the strength of its ensemble cast often saves it from itself. The musical interludes between scenes feel a little long and disrupt the pace of a play that needs to move quickly to really succeed. Some of the show’s finer moments are when there are two conversations happening almost simultaneously and the audience gets a glimpse into the group dynamic. Although there was a technical fault at the start of my showing, it did set a precedent for the discombobulating nature of the production.
Lastly, I’m gonna give a shout out to the stage-manager, Harrison Butler-Stroud, because cleaning up that set at the end of every night must take a herculean effort.
I’d tell you to go see POSH, but in all honesty, you probably have tickets already. Still, if you have a friend who’s suddenly gotten terribly ill and has a spare ticket going, take them up on the offer. You won’t regret it.