Posh is a play by the British playwright Laura Wade. It was first staged at the Royal Court Theatre downstairs in 2010. The play concerns an Oxford student dining club called “The Riot Club”, a fictionalised version of the Bullingdon Club. The first production, produced during the British General Election, received favourable reviews.
Ten members of “The Riot Club”, an exclusive Oxford University dining club, have rented out a country pub’s dining room for their termly dinner. Their president, James, who is about to leave university, is falling out of love with the club and promises the suspicious landlord Chris and his waitress daughter Rachel that he will keep things under control. While James avoids his presidential duties, others vie for his position. Inspired by his godfather Jeremy, a former Riot Club member and now a Tory MP, Guy tries to impress the boys with a “ten bird roast’. Others are less restrained; one has hired Charlie the prostitute. When Charlie arrives she refuses to get under the table and perform oral sex on the boys; they are surprised at her scruples.
As the members get more drunk and rowdy their bullying of each other and of Chris and Rachel gets worse. They try to force Rachel to kiss them all; she runs out and they wreck the room. Chris bursts in outraged and the members assault him, knocking him out. Horrified, they panic and bar the door, despite the landlord being seriously hurt. Eventually they all agree to pin the blame on Alistair, who has consistently riled them throughout the night. They agree that, as they will all end up being successful, they will look after Alistair after university and make sure they ‘see him right’. They open the door to the distraught Rachel and allow her to call an ambulance.
Weeks later Alistair meets with Jeremy, who has successfully managed to weaken the charge against Alistair and effectively get him off the hook. Intrigued by Alistair’s politics, Jeremy promises Alistair that he will be keeping a close eye on Alistair in future and that he has high hopes for him.
Director….. Lyndsey Turner
Jeremy….. Simon Shepherd
Chris….. Daniel Ryan
Rachel….. Fiona Button
Charlie….. Charlotte Lucas
Alistair Ryle….. Leo Bill
Toby Maitland …..Jolyon Coy
Hugo Fraser-Tyrwhitt….. David Dawson
Guy Bellingfield….. Joshua McGuire
George Balfour….. Richard Goulding
Harry Villiers….. Harry Hadden-Paton
Ed Montgomery….. Kit Harington
Dimitri Mitropoulos….. Henry Lloyd-Hughes
James Leighton-Masters….. Tom Mison
Miles Richards….. James Norton
The Royal Court production opened during the 2010 UK election and garnered much attention for its timely portrayal of an Oxford University dining club which might be seen as a parody of the real life Bullingdon Club. A number of prominent Tory politicians have been members of The Bullingdon, including Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osbourne and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
The production’s scene changes were marked by the Riot Club’s a cappella renditions of current popular music such as Wearing My Rolex by the grime rapper Wiley; the music was arranged by James Fortune.