Welcome to the Riot Club: TAS Posh Preview

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[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ class=”cs-ta-left” style=”padding: 0px;”][x_blockquote cite=”” type=”left” class=”introduction”]Eleanor Perrin previews the Theatre Arts Society’s upcoming production of Laura Wade’s Posh.[/x_blockquote][x_image type=”rounded” src=”https://www.rebelessex.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Posh-1.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=”” class=”image”][cs_text class=”caption”]Gudrun Palomino[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]It’s almost time for the Theatre Arts Society’s new-found Summer term project. This year the play of choice is Laura Wade’s political satire Posh.

Directed by third year students Nicole Gavin and Ben Jennings, Posh explores the goings-on of Oxford University’s elitist clan ‘The Riot Club’ as they meet for their termly country-pub dinner. A feast of debauchery, Posh showcases what it means to be self-entitled; money, power and total impunity.

Ahead of Friday’s opening night, I spoke with the directorial duo to get some exclusive insight on what we should expect from their take on Wade’s play. I began by asking what made them decide that Posh would be a suitable choice for the Society’s Summer production. Nicole explained: ‘‘I applied to direct Posh as I loved studying it on the Gender module I took in Drama last year. Taking inspiration from Cressida Carré’s all-female cast production, I thought it would be amazing to stage a gender-blind contemporary performance here at the Lakeside! When I shared my idea with Ben, he was equally excited by the prospect and so we decided to team up and lead the project together.’’

She added: ‘‘Neither of us have solo directed before and I knew from working on The Vagina Monologues as a co-director that I wanted to work in a partnership. We have tried our best to arrange rehearsal work together, but being third years with loads of deadlines (not to mention dissertations) this hasn’t been easy to co-ordinate. However, both us and the cast have sacrificed the necessary time and energy to ensure that this project is the best that it can be.’’

Ben added: ‘‘I’m certainly the grumpier of the two directors! But I think that both of us offer something different for the cast and that our approaches are equally useful.’’

I also asked the duo how they believe they have made their own stamp on Wade’s play. Nicole replied: ‘‘Our Gender blind approach is a huge factor that separates ours and past productions of the play.’’

Ben agreed, adding: ‘‘the casting allows us to explore toxic masculinity through the eyes of female actors which frankly, is really cool and an interesting opportunity.’’

[/cs_text][x_blockquote cite=”” type=”left” class=”quote”]’Our Gender blind approach is a huge factor that separates ours and past productions of the play.’
[/x_blockquote][x_image type=”none” src=”https://www.rebelessex.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Posh-2.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=”” class=”image”][cs_text class=”caption”]Rio Topley who plays the part of Harry. Gudrun Palomino [/cs_text][cs_text]When I asked which characters we should look forward to seeing, Nicole responded: ‘‘I feel like every character has more to them than meets the eye, but I’d say the most intriguing figures are Harry (Rio Topley), Toby (Amy Stephenson-Yankuba) and Miles (Chloe Molyneaux).

In Ben’s view: ‘‘the Riot Club itself should be treated as its own character! It’s definitely the most interesting and dynamic ensemble I have ever worked with and I can’t wait for everyone else to meet them!

Finally, I asked the directors why we should get tickets for the show this week. Nicole explained: ‘‘This play is for everyone who believes that there’s more to people than meets the eye. Recently, the Lakeside has shown so many amazing classics and whilst I agree that these are important, I highly recommend that theatre-goers expose themselves to new shows. Personally, I feel there’s a need for contemporary performance to allow a different, more radical theatre to shine! Posh is a play that has said something to me throughout my time here at Essex, and I strongly believe that it will be a staple piece that firmly marks its place in the Lakeside’s production history.’’

Ben added: ‘‘One thing I would say is that the play is certainly 16+ and not for the faint hearted! The cast have worked so hard on this and it’s been a pleasure to work with every single one of them. I can’t wait to see their hard work recognised onstage.’’
[/cs_text][x_blockquote cite=”” type=”left” class=”quote”]’This play is for everyone who believes that there is more to people than meets the eye.'[/x_blockquote][cs_text]

Posh is playing at the Lakeside Theatre May 18th-19th and tickets can be purchased below directly from the Box Office.

http://lakesidetheatre.org.uk/events/posh-by-laura-wade/

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