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Q&A: Posh

Published 23 May 2012

Laura Wade’s acclaimed political drama Posh transfers into the West End this week following its sell-out run at the Royal Court in 2010. Packed full of elitist snobbery, debauchery, misogyny and less than jolly japes, it centres on the Riot Club, a group of hideously unlikeable – but hilariously watchable – young men with more money than sense and a lack of respect of epic proportions.

We decided to find out whether cast members Leo Bill, Henry Lloyd Hughes, Charlotte Lucas and Josh McGuire had ever been members of slightly more wholesome clubs, who they would like as members of their fantasy organisations and whether they’ve ever been at a party when something has gone horribly wrong. With heavy objects thrown and hair set on fire, the decidedly nicer in real life group didn’t disappoint.

Describe your character in six words

Bill: Furiously intelligent, wilful, charming, misogynist, explosive.   
Lloyd Hughes:  Greek, shipping, father, insecure, lost, boy.
Lucas: Streetwise. Instinctive, professional, actress, forgiving and ultimately human.
McGuire: Constantly seeking legendary status; rarely succeeds.

Have you ever been in a club? If so, what was it?

Bill: “I’d never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.” (Woody Allen)
Lloyd Hughes:  Cricket club, but nothing clandestine or secret. Or maybe I have and I’m just not allowed to tell you about it…
Lucas: I used to love dancing to hip hop so used to go to the sort of clubs where there were often dance offs. I was never a member of the Girl Guides though as I get older I wish I had been as I love camping and being resourceful, although I don’t agree that the men and women should ever be segregated.
McGuire: Does Cubs count? It was pretty intense. I remember my swimming badge a particularly tricky one to win.

What’s the worst thing that has ever happened at a party you’ve been to?

Bill: My (now) girlfriend threw an iron at my head. We were a little drunk and that’s where I’ll leave it.
Lloyd Hughes: After Kanye West’s album My Dark Twisted Fantasy came out, my cousin and I went through a phase of going to house parties and putting it on and then chanting along to every word of every track, regardless of what the vibe of the party was. Looking back it may have been a little disruptive. But that album is so good it seemed like the logical thing to do at the time
Lucas: Someone laughing so hard that they lent back and set their hair on fire.
McGuire: Luckily I’m finding this question hard to answer but, if pushed,  I’d have to say me falling off a chair… how boring!

Which six people (dead or alive) would you invite to be in an elite club with you and why?

Bill: Christopher Walken because he’s my god, Jake Thackray because he’s an unbelievable man/musician/poet that nearly no-one’s ever heard of, Andrei Tarkovsky because he’s a genius, Diane Arbus because she’d take some amazing pictures of the night, David Lynch because he’d have a mad-ass party trick and Gina Rowlands because there’s never been a better actress.
Lloyd Hughes: David Niven, Joe Strummer, Bruce Springsteen, John Peel, Barack Obama, Philip Seymour Hoffman. I think that would be a nice mix of people.
Lucas: Kathy Burke, Philip Larkin, Jo Brand, Boris Johnson, Ghandi, Catherine the Great, Mohammad Ali. I think we’d have a laugh but at the same time all learn something new.
McGuire: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme.

What would your ideal club meeting entail?

Bill: Bowling, vodka toasts and serious margaritas.
Lloyd Hughes: A cricket match, somewhere warm, where I retire after making a 100 runs, take five wickets and three catches, followed by dinner in a tree house and dancing until dawn.
Lucas: I’d like to have a club with lots of rooms with different activities in each. A really fun social laboratory, where the conversation flow is eased with a couple of cocktails, a focus and some cracking music. We could all learn how to do new things like make a pair of trousers, a new style of dance, make an instrument, play it, that kind of thing.
McGuire: Food by Heston Blumenthal.

How will you be spending your days during the run of the play?

Bill: Taking it easy. The play requires a hell of a lot of energy. My girlfriend is an actress and she’s currently touring Europe with [theatre company] Complicite, but when she’s here on breaks we’ll hang out, eat, watch Breaking Bad, anything that conserves energy. Sadly.
Lloyd Hughes: Turning my house into a building site, doing some home improvements over the summer!
Lucas: I shall be incredibly busy.
McGuire: Enjoying the sun.

What is your favourite moment during the show?

Bill: That’s really difficult. It’s an ensemble company in the truest sense and being part of that is a great privilege. Favourite moments change nightly.
Lloyd Hughes:  The reaction in an audience when we turn and sing for the first time; confusion, amusement, love that bit.
Lucas:  My favourite part of the show is feeling the tension that flickers and rises in the audience in the final scene between Jeremy and Alistair and also watching the boys singing together because it’s beautiful!
McGuire: The opening sequence.

"My (now) girlfriend threw an iron at my head. We were a little drunk and that's where I'll leave it."

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