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The Oxford Playhouse

Posh
5.0Overall Score

Posh is a beautifully written, well-acted and superbly staged play.  These are reasons enough to go and see it. In my view, what makes it a must see is the UK’s current social and political climate.

Posh allows us to a porthole view into the exclusive world of Oxford University’s notorious dining club, the Bullingdon; for the purposes of the play, renamed the Riot club.  The attitudes of its extraordinarily wealthy, all male members who have been educated at elite private schools are sobering.  When one member begins a rant on the group’s rightful place as the ruling elite, the whole audience felt the spirit of current and past prime ministers in the room; Boris Johnson and David Cameron having been members of the Bullingdon

 

One of the things that makes this small production a real joy to watch is the huge cast.  Fourteen actors, each with individually developed characters and each with a pivotal role to play, interact beautifully on stage.  Tyger Drew-Honey of Cuckoo and Outnumbered fame makes his stage debut in this production.  He does a wonderful job and gets true super star billing.  However, all the actors, even those with smaller parts, make an essential contribution.  There was not a weak performance.  Indeed, all parts of the production were strong – the exquisitely detailed sets, the music and the costumes were all outstanding.

 

When the play first came out, the UK had a Labour government. I suspect that then, the play’s primary appeal would have been its glimpse into a forbidden world.  However, now, at a time when the UK is facing profound political crisis, this play helps to shed light on the behaviour of the current ruling elite, many former members of the Bullingdon.

Some political commentators are suggesting that there may not be a democratic solution to this current political crisis.  One suspects that Tyger Drew-Honey’s character, Alistair, would wholeheartedly agree.

Housekeeping:

The Oxford Playhouse suggests that this play is suitable for ages 14+.  As always, this will depend on the individual. The play contains almost continuous swearing and some extremely crude sexual references that are very demeaning to women. Some robust young teens will take this in their stride while others, such as the two ladies sitting next to me in their mid 50s, will be deeply upset and offended.

  • Drama
  • Author: Laura Wade
  • Directed by Lucy Hughes
  • Cast includes Tyger Drew-Honey, Adam Mirsky and Joseph Tyler Todd.
  • The Oxford Playhouse
  • On UK tour until 26 October.

About The Author

Editorial team & reviewer (UK)

Hailing from Japan, Catherine Flutsch studied philosophy and law in Australia at Sydney University. She moved to the UK to practice law and to soak up the art and culture. After a career in corporate law spanning Sydney, Tokyo and London, Catherine left legal practice and moved to Oxford. During her time as a full-time parent, she developed a portrait painting practice. She subsequently set up a management consultancy firm. Being her own boss means that she has time to indulge her passion for theatre, art and dance. Catherine has a particular love for Shakespeare and a special interest in Shakespeare's historical plays.

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