Posh review: Act One amplifies Wade’s social message


by Manjeevan Kaur

Act One’s energetic performance and relentlessly sharp acting in the play is a definite must see. The high level of talent and delivery of Laura Wade’s Posh tackled wider social themes in a fresh way. Each young actor completely engaged with their role and each dynamic scene was confidently executed. A thoroughly eye-opening play. Which at all the right times hits a disconcerting tone, to not only follow the infamous members of the “Riot Club” but more importantly reveals a problematic social climate.

‘Posh’ by Laura Wade was initially performed on the 9th April 2010 at the Royal Court Theatre and later adapted into a well-received film in 2014. Act one perfectly captured a satirical stance on social issues in Britain on the 22nd February 2018. The powerful staging and outlandish behaviours reinforced unsettling themes. This enthralling window into the world of the British upper classes packed a punch both literally and figuratively. There is an exploration of the balance of power against a modern backdrop which is a highly critical outlook with a small comedic touch. The savage antics of “Riot Club” members and the chaos which later ensues raises several questions. Which focuses on exclusive clubs preserving a mindset of entitlement and perpetuating privilege for elites at the very top of society.

As well as, the subtle elements of the play steadily building pressure throughout the performance. Act one highlighted the sinister undertones within a contemporary society and combined this with a lively cast that relished the chance to give it their all. Rivalries between the club members presented a key chance for each actor to add a twist to their role. Jessica Tait who played James Leighton-Masters and Jack Kelly who played Alistair Ryle stood out as actors who injected risk and fierceness to their parts, which took a hold of the audience.

I would recommend watching a performance by Act One during University. After seeing this play, I will return to watch more high calibre shows. There so addictive! Watching ‘Posh’ was an insightful experience and a memorable performance for social critics and people who love a thought-provoking play.