Search

Posh, Pleasance Theatre, review: ‘Wade’s play still has bite but this lacks real danger’

PUBLISHED: 16:30 04 April 2017

Posh at the Pleasance, Islington. Picture: Darren Bell

Posh at the Pleasance, Islington. Picture: Darren Bell

DBELL

Cressida Carré offers an intriguing provocation with her all-female revival of Laura Wade’s portrait of entitled white male excess

Cressida Carré offers an intriguing provocation with her all-female revival of Laura Wade’s portrait of entitled white male excess.

Wade’s play made a splash in 2010 by lampooning Oxford University’s Bullingdon Club (here the thinly veiled Riot Club), whose former members included occupants of Downing Street and the mayoral office: Cameron, Osborne and Johnson.

The cross-casting continues a welcome trend, giving meatier parts to comparatively underserved actresses, but here is too scattershot to make a strong statement.

Male names and pronouns are retained, and some actresses play their roles naturalistically, while others are almost pantomimic. As a fresh examination of gender, Carré’s intentions are murky.

It does highlight the boys’ absurdly performative masculinity: they don boorish speech and behaviour just as they do club regalia and arcane rules.

But grotesque sometimes tips into cartoonishness, interrupting the rhythm of Wade’s wit and grim astuteness of her observation that these destructive toffs will likely one day run the country.

Sara Perks’ apocalyptic design juxtaposes the fine dining set-up of the rural gastro pub where the club meets with rubble and blackened walls. It emphasises the desperate backlash of the privileged against a progressive agenda – those willing to burn the world down before surrendering their power. William Reynolds’ strobe lighting adds a hellish touch.

However, Carré’s production lacks real danger, as “banter” turns to sexual threat and conflict to violence; Serena Jennings’ inciting Alistair, though unsettling, needs more insidious nastiness.

But there are amusing turns from Macy Nyman’s clueless Balfour and Verity Kirk’s giddy idiot Ed, while Alice Brittain is superb as the swashbuckling womaniser and Sarah Thom all-too-plausible as the shadowy, deal-making lord.

Wade’s play certainly still has bite and this is an enjoyable account of it, but misses the chance for a thoroughly radical reappraisal.

Rating 3/5 stars

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

21 minutes ago

England were left needing a miracle in the middle or help from the elements to pull off a great escape in Perth.

Yesterday, 19:41

Leaders Manchester City powered to their 16th successive win in the Premier League with a thrashing of Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium.

Yesterday, 19:03

The 47-year-old was full of praise for Josh Coulson and hinted he would like to sign the defender permanently

FA Trophy first round: Haringey Borough 1 Leyton Orient 2

Yesterday, 16:54

Arsenal beat Newcastle United 1-0 in a dull and uninspired performance at the Emirates on Saturday.

Yesterday, 10:15

Steve Smith and Mitch Marsh’s triple-century stand piled on the Perth misery to leave England on the brink of losing the Ashes.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Yesterday, 09:00

Experienced defender set to be part of match day squad after 11-week absence



Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists