Saturday, June 16, 2012

Episode 1363: Posh

Didn't realise that Laura Wade's Posh had transferred to the West End, until I saw the posters when I was in London on Tuesday. So this afternoon, I caught the matinée at the Duke of York's Theatre. Previously, I'd read the script of the original 2010 Royal Court production (which incidentally, Kit Harrington, who now plays Jon Snow on Game Of Thrones, acted in) and enjoyed Wade's writing, so it was a no-brainer to catch the 2012 West End production. Apart from the fantastic musical interludes used to signal scene changes (maybe the cast should do a musical next?), I appreciated how Wade's characters weren't uniform stereotypes. Not that the play goes about deconstructing these privileged upper class characters, in order to paint them as sympathetic and misunderstood. What it does do is provide nuance, so that these 10 rich young men can't be reduced to being archetypes of the rich-and-horrible. The pacing after the intermission did feel a bit off, as if things got out of hand too quickly and too drastically, but I suppose in a way, that could have been the point. In that moment of crisis, everyone's moral cowardice gets revealed, and it should be uncomfortable for the audience to be made to realise that the one character who has been most repugnant throughout, i.e. Leo Bill's Alistair Ryle, is also the only guy whose behaviour is internally consistent, morally speaking. Doesn't make him any less wrong, but it does give you pause, I think. Of course, the play doesn't let you dwell on that for too long, since the action immediately cuts to Alistair being offered a place in the world of privilege, ushered into the protective echelons of power.

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