Tuesday, 17 February 2015

POSH by Laura Wade
Nottingham Playhouse​

Ten of the finest students from Oxford hire a gastro pub for their term meal. They are the elite so you would expect a genial and high brow get together, but how wrong can a dinner party go? Gradually with the induction of alcohol the night escalates into total chaos where several lives change for the worse.

It is based on the real life Bullingdon Club which counts some of our political hierarchy as former members and has had a film, "The Riot Club", made from the stage version of Laura Wade's shocking but humorous story of what the "posh" lot think, feel and act like behind closed doors.

It's not for the easily offended, which is part of the reason why I made my mind up to see this play, and it certainly lives up to its' premise. There are parts of the script which had large chunks of the audience taking a sharp intake of breath, and nervously laughing at parts which they were unsure as to whether it were politically and morally correct to laugh at. There's lots of strong swearing and some of the subject matter is shocking and at times controversial. But isn't that what theatre is all about? Getting some kind of a reaction from the theatre goer? Well it certainly worked out that way here.

"Posh" has a brilliant script, not the easiest to digest at times, again part of the impact of the play, and Laura Wade really makes us love, hate and at times even pity the characters for just the way they are, "Hooray Henry's" with a distinct lack of understanding and respect for anyone lower down their food chain and a belief that money can resolve any crime. The culmination of this play proves that this is not so, but with the right people, it can soften the blow!

A wonderful cast who really throw themselves into their roles. Talented enough to make you laugh out loud one second and then grow to detest what they stand for and their lifestyle the next. You may not be able to turn a ship on a sixpence but emotions, they can manage to make you turn.

And what a brilliant set. this is the first thing you see as you step into the auditorium and the opulence is clear to behold. The set itself only uses, possibly about two thirds of the stage area but it is strangely deceptive with its' expanse and attention to detail. Ellan Parry has earned her stripes with this one.

From what I knew about the play from the film, I expected it to be a. literally, messy affair but this was not the case in the play, but it was quite shocking in both actions and words and if you like a play which gets you thinking as well as being evocative and emotive, then you will love "Posh", which you can see at the Nottingham Playhouse until Saturday 28 February 2015.

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