On Wedensday 22nd Fenruary, ‘POSH’, the 6.1 play, was staged in Mansion. Ben Broughton, J Social, 6.1, reviews the play in his report below:
Whenever there is a College Play produced solely by the boys whatever results is a great achievement for those involved. ‘Posh’, performed in Mansion on the evenings of 22/23/24 February, is the story of ten Oxford students, all coming from highly-privileged backgrounds who form a dining club, known as The Riot Club. Events unfold as the night goes on, in the end turning into a riot. The performance changed venues, with the audience moving from the Panelled Room in Mansion to the Blue Room, as if they were moving with the events. The Play itself remained humorous and entertaining almost throughout and certainly entertained those who came on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Huge congratulations to those involved again.
Director Rory Betley, E Social, 6.1 comments on producing a piece of theatre with fellow director Rory Marsh, J Social, 6.1, in his report below:
‘Posh’ is a play that Rory Marsh, my fellow director, and I have wanted to stage for a few years; but one that, being students, we could not achieve until we graduated into the adult world, where the boundaries are not as tight regarding domestically-produced entertainment. The 6.1 year at Radley College is designed for boys to persevere with extra-curricular activities and producing a piece of theatre is certainly filling that void that exists between the years of public exams.
The process has been enjoyable, yet difficult. The most difficult part of the process was the permission to start it. Everyone we asked said “yes”. It seemed as if we had to ask every member of Common Room by the end. In one day, Rory and I had asked our Theatre Studies don, Mr Edwards, the Head of Drama, Mr Lowe, the Warden, Mr Moule, the director of the other 6.1 play, Mr Tolputt, the Master in Charge of extra-curricular activities, Mr Murphy, the head of Calendar organisation, Mr Shaw, the lady who takes bookings for the Mansion’s rooms, Mrs Goodfellow, via her colleague Mrs Newell and our housemasters, Mr Langton and Mr Lawson, respectively.
It wasn’t exactly plain sailing after that. We held auditions for the thirty-five 6.1 boys who were interested and cast 15 of them the next day. We handed out scripts and talked them through it, the day before we left for the Christmas holidays. Ever since, we have had four rehearsals per week during prep time, which were either richly rewarding or extremely infuriating.
This is a familiar piece of drama to Radley boys, most of them referring to the film adaptation, The Riot Club, directed by Lone Scherfig. What we wanted to explore in the production of this play was the deeper meaning behind the text, and to create a disturbing and intense atmosphere that does justice to Laura Wade’s writing. We wanted to exploit the meaning behind it, satirising the vile nature in which these boys behave, whilst providing a social commentary enlightening the audience to a topic that is unfamiliar to most, but still important. The difficulty with a script like this, being performed at a School like this, is that we had to be sure not to show the characters in a positive light. Stories not too dissimilar to this one appear in the public eye reasonably often: even a former Prime Minister was at the centre of a dining society ‘scandal’ not too long ago. To glorify them would be to encourage impressionable young men to be more rebellious, riotous and disrespectful. That is the opposite of our aim in this Production – we would like to ensure that people are aware of the danger of being both influential and impressionable.
The most important question posed by Wade’s script is this: for how long will you like the members of the Riot Club and at what point will you begin to paint a clearer portrait of what they’re really like behind their amiable disguise?
Report by Rory Betley, E Social 6.1