REVIEW: POSH (Pleasance Theatre) ★★★★★

Posh Pleasance Theatre

Laura Wade’s Posh is a widely celebrated and respected play (also known by its film adaptation title, The Riot Club), well known to many. I have seen countless productions of it and yet Cressida Carré’s interpretation breathes a new life into this phenomenal show.

The all-female cast is filled with talented and passionate actress’s. The entire ensemble bounce off of each other beautifully, capturing the ethos of the piece with ease. The play itself is superbly written but the cast lift it to new heights. I saw the original West End show (performed with men not women, as is indicated in the original text) and I think it may have topped it. Carré’s interpretation of the piece only increases and highlights how ludicrous the conversations the Oxonians have. My original concern was, it would satirise the characters so much that it would become a caricature and then lose the impact the original play had, which stemmed from the believability that these characters are based on real people. However, this is where the actors do a staggering job, as it was rare anything jarred regarding the gender swap.

Truth be told, I was hesitant regarding an all female version, as I wasn’t sure what it could possibly add and yet, it was as if Laura Wade had intended it this way. Perhaps this isn’t surprising however, as the play is written by a woman, and although the characters are male, I would not be surprised if perhaps some of Wade’s voice came through a little clearer with a female cast. Carré’s staging and the use of the revolve was inspired and the specificity of each part was incredible. The piece as a whole was slick and touching, directed with vigour and wit. It perfectly towed the line between comedy and hard hitting theatre, and was unapologetic in it’s teachings yet provided an enjoyable evening. Posh is a triumph.

Reviewed by Kara Taylor Alberts

Photo: Darren Bell

Posh plays at the Pleasance Theatre until 22 April 2017