Bullingdon Revisited

Fri 10th – Sun 26th August 2018


Tara Snelling

at 09:49 on 24th Aug 2018



I was worried about going to this play. The Bullingdon Club seems to have a reputation as a representation of Oxford - as a club which is revered and even potentially feared. Actually, the idea of it is a bit of a laughing stock, with struggling membership, and recently being kicked out of college. This unpopularity might, in part, be something to do with the David Cameron and pig incident. ‘Bullingdon Revisited’ imagines what could have potentially happened on this raucous night, which includes smashing property, running from the police, and of course, the moment with the pig itself.

I brace myself for horrible humour, but find myself very pleasantly surprised. Tess Humphrey’s writing is keenly intelligent, and with an eye to both the toxicity and downright stupidity of the most elite. The tone of the posh boy is captured perfectly, and the sense that any kind of recklessness would end with a retreat back into their money and vast carelessness. The obsession of the young politicians with milk and Margaret Thatcher is a hilarious hook throughout the play, and the set-up of a surprise encounter is genius. Alison Young is incredibly convincing as the stringent woman in power prepared to play the games of boys’ clubs, but also adds a fresh spin on the usual depictions of Thatcher.

Adam Martin-Brooks is a wonderful David Cameron – sitting dumbly centre-stage with a wide-eyed stupidity which makes me laugh before he says anything. Reducing Cameron to a nerdy teen trying his best to impress, then to a punk wannabe, and then to a coked up posh boy – his ‘transformation’ story is hilarious from the get-go and his depiction is often eerily reminiscent of the man himself. The same can be said for Luke Richards, who manages to use the practised stupidity and overegged persona of Johnson as a means of consciously cultivating a personality. While largely comic throughout, the cast also hint at the level of threatening and menace behind this mentality.

The smaller venue adds to the energy, containing the action to make the slapstick even more dramatic. It seems like this play was a lot of fun to put on. Go for razor-sharp one liners, a mocking of lad culture and ‘The Riot Club’ or ’Posh’, but with more slapstick and shenanigans.


Beatrix Swanson Scott

at 21:08 on 25th Aug 2018



It’s the 1980s, and a 19 year old David Cameron has donned a

leather jacket to make himself look punk and taken to the

streets of Oxford to seek out the Bullingdon Club. When he

meets popular third year Boris Johnson, he immediately tries to

impress him with his wealth, ambition and disdain for the lower

classes, hoping to be allowed to join the hallowed ranks of the

‘Bullers’. What follows is a wild romp through a night of chaos

and debauchery involving Margaret Thatcher, an electric guitar

and a pig.

Low-budget theatre in a tiny room below a pub is very hard to

do well, and Bullingdon Revisited makes a valiant effort. The

comedy, with its bluntly satirical humor and distinct air of a Riot

Club parody, sustains its energy and the audience’s

engagement throughout, and all three performers (David, Boris

and ‘all women’) gave committed performances. However, a few

things inevitably let this production down. The tech didn’t always

work (a problem when you’re relying on sound cues), there

were a lot of tired jokes along the lines of, ‘ooh, maybe they’re

gay’, and this kind of show will only ever appeal to one

subsection of society (though of course this subsection is likely

to be heavily represented at the Fringe). There were some

brilliant one-liners, and David Cameron’s faces were a highlight,

but some sequences felt a bit too drawn-out. One couldn’t help

thinking that the show would have greatly benefitted from some

tightening and slightly larger venue (it felt very cramped).

Overall, Bullingdon Revisited does what it says on the tin -

provide light entertainment for pub-goers who, pint in hand, will

perch on stool in a dark dingy room to have a few laughs.

Unless they’re hardcore Tories, of course.


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