Posh, Duke of York’s Theatre 25 June


Upper-class oiks rehearse for the firing squad

This play follows the fortunes of a ten-strong dining club as they prepare to trash a venue some way outside Oxford; they have to be discreet and remote after a previous session hit the papers.  Things turn out rather badly, but in the end it looks as though everything may well be covered over.  There are also some very well-performed musical numbers which I think are meant to show the uneasy position of our heroes as heirs to landed properties and devotees of youth culture (they call each other ‘mate’).  In fact, hardly any of the actors could raise a decent Oxford accent…

It seemed to me that the play rather fell between two stools:  it didn’t depict the characters as evil stinking scum who needed to wiped out; nor were they quite weaklings who could be brushed aside with minimal effort.  You say it was meant to be an investigation of their psychologies, not a tract–I answer, Why were there ten of them then?   The representatives of this class I once knew were a lot nastier and more competent than the crew represented here–more importantly, they possessed a dangerous charm, which was largely how they managed to get away with it.  I found it hard to believe that any commercial sex worker would be stupid enough to enter on her own a private room with ten drunken young men in it, and I doubt many waitresses would either. Then to me the culminating incident was the kind of thing that is usually glossed with with daddy’s (or daddies’) money on one hand and legal intimidation on the other.

Was the point that it’s nice and comfy having these drones in charge, so we go on muddling along in the same old ramshackle way?

There was quite a nice coup de théâtre, though, and I did laugh at the joke about LMH.


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