Thursday, 6 May 2010


On the last night of the New Labour project went with Vix to the Royal Court to see Posh, a brilliant dissection of the dark heart of Toryism. The Riot club, a group of privileged Oxford undergraduates, book a dining room in a country pub to eat, drink, summon up the ghosts of their patriarchs and finally smash up the room in an orgy of destruction and anger. All modeled without apology on the infamous Bullingdon club, a happy home for David Cameron and Boris Johnson during their student days.

Some critics have attacked the play for it's unremitting and exaggerated attack on Conservative values, but if Laura Wade does return to a class war based approach to examining the forces driving the current Tory party, then she also unswervingly picks apart the genetic premise of hierarchy, nobility and entitlement that certainly guides many in the party. This is a forensic look at the DNA.

The cast revel in the exploration, each of the ten young men provide a subtle shade of blue. One views the world as an army officer, one as a cavalier varsity fencing champion, one as a classical poet, another, of Greek parentage, tries to buy his way into favour. All are nostalgic for the solid rules of the feudal societies and imperial riches of their ancestors and once fuelled by several crates of red wine they let vent to their demasculated spleens, railing against the mediocrity and inclusivity of modern Britain. The whole is summed up in a vitriolic speech, delivered brilliantly by Leo Bill, at the end of the first act in which his contempt for the poor is given full tally ho rein.

The play does wake you up to the latent threat of Conservatism. Fired up we fell out into Sloane Square and headed quickly to the pub, hoping it's not too late to stop tomorrow's tide coming in.

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