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Hannah Murray to lead an all-female cast in a new production of Posh

Hannah Murray. Photo credit: Jason Alden.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

HANNAH Murray will lead the cast for the world premiere of an all-female version of Posh, which runs at London’s Pleasance Theatre from April 3 (previews from March 29) to April 22, 2017.

This thrilling new production gives Laura Wade’s play a new, topical voice by allowing women to take centre stage in roles originally written for men. The production will be directed by Off West End Award winner Cressida Carré.

Described as darkly comic and disgracefully entertaining, Laura Wade’s universally acclaimed Posh premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 2010 with a cast featuring future stars Kit Harrington and James Norton. A huge hit with critics and audience alike, it subsequently transferred to the West End.

Now the riotous story of an Oxford student dining club, a fictionalised version of the infamous Bullingdon Club, will be reinvented for the first time by a company of all-female actors.

In the private dining room of a gastro pub, 10 young bloods with cut-glass vowels and deep pockets are meeting, intent on restoring their right to rule. As members of an elite student dining society, they’re bunkering down for a wild night of debauchery, decadence and bloody good wine.

Posh was long-listed as Best New Play in the Evening Standard Awards and nominated Best New Play in the Whatsonstage Awards. It was filmed in 2014 for cinema release as The Riot Club, directed by Lone Scherfig and starring Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Freddie Fox and Douglas Booth.

Hannah Murray, named Best Actress at the Tribeca Film Festival for her portrayal of ‘Sara’ in the Danish film Bridgend, was last seen on stage in London in Martine at the Finborough Theatre, for which she was nominated ‘Best Female Performance’ at the Off West End Awards. However, she made her West End debut in Polly Stenham’s That Face at the Royal Court.

Murray’s breakthrough role was playing ‘Cassie’ in E4’s cult series Skins, before going on to star in features Chatroom, God Help The Girl, Lily and Kat and The Chosen. She will next be seen reprising the role of ‘Gilly’ in the final series of HBO/SKY’s Game of Thrones and in August she will take on one of the lead roles in Katherine Bigelow’s Untitled Detroit Project, set in 1967, about one of the largest citizen uprisings in the United States’ history.

Hannah Murray said: “I am so excited to be a part of this production, it’s a fascinating opportunity to explore and investigate the nature of privilege – a topic I feel there is an increasing urgency to examine and discuss. Working with an all-female ensemble cast is a brilliant opportunity to collaborate with a fantastic company of talented women, which is not something that happens often enough.”

Joining her in the cast of Posh will be Lucy Aarden (Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, 1st Witch in Macbeth, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Greenwich Theatre); Cassie Bradley (Husbands and Sons and Nurse in Sam Mendes’ King Lear, National Theatre); Alice Brittain (Trevor Nunn’s The War of the Roses, Rose Theatre Kingston); Molly Hanson (Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Windsor); Verity Kirk (Cate in Sarah Kane’s Blasted, STYX); Macy Nyman (Wendy in Peter Pan, Exeter Northcott)…

…Toni Peach (Beetles From The West, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth); Jessica Siân (White Lead, Hampstead Theatre); Sarah Thom (Tom Hardy’s Taboo, Bette Davis in Bette & Joan – The Final Curtain, St James Theatre); Gabby Wong (understudied and played Mephistopheles in Doctor Faustus, Duke of York’s Theatre, Volpone, The Jew of Malta, Love’s Sacrifice, RSC, Gold Nine in the Star Wars film Rogue One); and Amani Zardoe (the upcoming Victoria & Abdul with Judi Dench, The Spoils, Trafalgar Studios, Measure for Measure, Shakespeare’s Globe).

Director Cressida Carré (winner of the Off West End Award for Best Choreography for the UK premiere of Titanic) said: “I am so looking forward to exploring the play with this fantastic all-female cast. We are in a very exciting time in theatre where existing works are being turned on their head giving us so much more potential to play with and the reinvention of many are opening up our perceptions in so many ways. Gender equality, privilege and class are certainly topics which are prevalent today and it will be exciting to see what happens when these historically male characters are played by women.”

Produced by Tom Harrop for Can’t Think Theatre Company, Posh has set and costume design by Sara Perks with Sarah Mills, lighting design by Derek Anderson and sound by Harry Barker.

Posh is suitable for ages 14+.

Read more about Posh.

Image: Hannah Murray. Photo credit: Jason Alden.

Tickets: from £17.50. To book, call the box office on 020 7609 1800 or visit either www.pleasance.co.uk/ or poshtheplay.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7:30pm, Thursday and Saturday at 2:30pm.