by Laura Wade.
Nottingham Playhouse Wellington Circus NG1 5AF To 28 February.
TICKETS: 0115 941 9419.
then Salisbury Playhouse Malthouse Lane SP2 7RA 12 March-4 April 2015.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm no performance 3 Apr Mat Thu & Sat 2.15pm.
Audio-described 2, 4 April 2.15pm & 7.30pm (+ Touch Tours 1.15pm & 6.30pm).
BSL Signed 25 Mar.
Captioned 1 Apr.
TICKETS: 01722 320333.
Runs 3hr One interval.
Review: Alan Geary: 17 February 2015.
Inspired by the antics of the Bullingdon Club, it’s entertaining and worth seeing.
Posh is, of course, inspired by the antics of the Bullingdon Club, to which David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson once belonged. As the programme tells us, however, none of writer Laura Wade’s fictional characters represent anyone in particular.
Ten toffs, all contemporary Oxford undergraduates, gather at a country gastro-pub for a dinner of the Riot Club. Started in the 18th century as a dining club for aristocratic bad boys, the prime function of the outfit is to wreak havoc regardless. After a quiet start proceedings get out of hand and spiral into a tragic outcome.
Between scenes we get the moving contrast of weirdly chilling songs from the Latin Mass sung by a contralto in a red dress (Joanne Evans, who also plays Charlie, a visiting escort). The only other female in the play is landlord’s daughter Rachel (Charlotte Brimble). They both have more courage and decorum than all ten rioters put together.
This isn’t for the children: there are four-letter words as well as much discussion of women in crude derogatory terms. But there’s humour. At one stage the lads slur their way through a drunken, sometimes funny, conversation about the inevitable extinction of their class – they just know they’re an anachronism. A rioter delivers a parody of that Henry V speech; and at one point the founder of the Riot Club himself apparently appears to say his bit.
Acting is unfailingly excellent. Robbie Jarvis stands out as the handsome but horrid Harry Villiers. So does Laurence Kennedy, who appears at start and finish as Jeremy, an MP and well-connected clubman, and godfather of Guy (Philip Labey), one of the rioters.
A decent play about over-grown and over-indulged babies,
Rachel: Charlotte Brimble.
Chris: Neil Caple.
Toby Maitland: Tom Clegg.
Miles Richards: Dario Coates.
Charlie: Joanne Evans.
Dimitri Mitropoulos: Simon Haines.
Hugo Fraser-Tyrwhitt: Tom Hanson.
Harry Villiers: Robbie Jarvis.
Ed Montgomery: Kaffe Keating.
Jeremy: Laurence Kennedy.
Guy Bellingfield: Philip Labey.
Alistair Ryle: Jordan Metcalfe.
James Leighton-Masters: Tom Palmer.
George Balfour: Jamie Satterthwaite.
Director: Susannah Tresilian.
Designer: Ellan Parry.
Lighting: Alexandra Stafford.
Sound/Composer: Isobel Waller-Bridge.
Fight director: Alison De Burgh.