Review: SUSU Theatre Group's 'POSH'

  ‘POSH’ by Laura Wade, a new play, which has undergone revisions to reflect the current coalition government, has often split opinion amongst audiences. ‘POSH’ is a rather painful and […]

laura wade posh review SUSU theatre group

four stars

 

‘POSH’ by Laura Wade, a new play, which has undergone revisions to reflect the current coalition government, has often split opinion amongst audiences. ‘POSH’ is a rather painful and fearfully relevant play which brings to light an issue which is very much entrenched in British society – class.

Yes the play showcases posh toffs behaving badly, but the true undertones of the play present a sort of Social Darwinism – the Elite have and probably will carry on to adapt to change. The conclusion of the play (well showcased by Peter Ward) highlights that the rules can and will be broken to ensure this happens. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that these themes were brought out enough throughout the entirety of play when they could have been, instead I felt that I was presented with a scenario purely to mock the rich. The majority of the characters also felt very one dimensional. I got the feeling that the actors knew exactly what they wanted the characters to be perceived as. There were clear opportunities to extract pity from the audience, for example when they played musical chairs or drank for their ritualistic and regular toasts, because when you see these actions for what they really are, they are truly pathetic. However, the tone in which they were acted ensured the exact opposite.

Photo credit: SUSU Theatre Group

Photo credit: SUSU Theatre Group

Having said that, one of the strongest and most likeable characters of this production has to be Sev Keoshgerian as Hugo Fraser-Tyrwhitt, from his mannerisms to his diction, he performed an almost faultless performance. This was equally echoed by Andy Banks, George Balfour. For a person who doesn’t drink, accurately depicted an endearing drunk throughout the play, which certainly mustn’t have been easy. His comic timing was warmly welcomed when it broke up long periods, sometimes too long, of obnoxious behaviour.

Moving further away from the text, a large problem with this production was the fact that, as I sat in the middle of the audience, I missed massive chunks of the performance. I just couldn’t see what was going on. I highly commend the set design, it really felt like I was in the gastro-pub with the actors however, the action could’ve been witnessed by more if the stage had been raised by a foot.

 

Photo credit: SUSU Theatre Group

Photo credit: SUSU Theatre Group

I also found the trashing of the room a tad, anticlimactic. I would’ve loved to have seen some smashing, or ripping. This was the only part of the play which didn’t really feel too believable. However, this was certainly turned around when Alex Scotchbrook decided to turn on the loveable landlord, Ben Willcocks. Throughout the play Scotchbrook confidently owned the stage and delivered some poisonous lines extremely well – I certainly felt similarities with this character to Jack from Lord of the Flies.

Overall, despite some of my criticisms, the standard of the acting was once again incredibly high from Theatre Group. Even those playing the relatively smaller parts really shone. However, the ten boys who were the ‘Riot Club’ were simply fantastic and not simply because they spent nearly the whole play on stage. They never once dropped character and were constantly acting throughout the play, whoever you looked at, they were doing something. The production team of POSH successfully put on a fantastic show and should be extremely proud of the end product considering the small amount of time that they had to rehearse it in. What a great start of the year from Theatre Group!