Tyger Drew-Honey is a well-known TV star who grew up in front of the camera. He doesn’t do theatre. He does films and long running TV dramas like Outnumbered in which he featured for five series.

So why has the 23-year-old chosen Laura Wade’s biting satire POSH as his stage debut?

The Tyger sitting opposite me discussing his stage debut at the Oxford Playhouse with such passion is not the same Tyger of yesteryear.

Yes, he still has those bright blue eyes and aquiline features so beloved by his fans, but there is a maturity to his demeanour, that belies the baby faced ‘Jake’ from Outnumbered and sits well on him.

He has grown up it would seem.

“As soon as I read POSH, I knew I wanted to take part,” he says. “Alastair is such a nasty piece of work; he’s arrogant, cruel, patronising and condescending, but I could feel his words just rolling off my tongue. I can’t say Alastair’s lines without getting into character.”

“I love how venomous and elitist he is; his monologues, the utter disdain he has for the middle-classes. I just loved the depth of the script. And it’s about time I played a really meaty baddie. I’ve never taken on that role before.”

Banbury Cake:

Penned by Laura Wade, who this year won the coveted ‘Best New Comedy’ Olivier award for her play Home, I’m Darling, POSH is often described as a thinly veiled version of Oxford’s real life Bullingdon Club, which was then turned into British film The Riot Club.

Timing wise, POSH couldn’t be more spot on; Boris Johnson, George Osbourne and David Cameron are all former Bullingdon Club members.

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“The political landscape at the moment is ripe,” Tyger agrees

“In a way it feels like fate, so it’s strange the way things happen, but either way it can only boost ticket sales.”

Ironic then that the play first opened to such acclaim at The Royal Court Theatre in 2010 as David Cameron entered No 10, and the revival comes as Boris Johnson takes over the helm.

This time around, POSH opened for one-night only at The Criterion Theatre in London recently, produced by Joe Prentice, so successfully it is now on tour.

“I knew Tyger would be great for the role,” Joe says.

“He may not have worked in theatre before, but I never saw casting him as a gamble. Tyger has been acting for years and he appeals to a really multi-generational audience, so we are delighted to have him on board.”

Banbury Cake:

And yet Tyger went to private school too, so could he relate to the elitist public school mentality? “I went to prep school and Epsom College until I was 16, so yes I was lucky. But then my parents could no longer afford to send me to private school, so after that I was home schooled.”

How did that go?

“I didn’t apply myself very well, which might explain my results, but there was nothing very decadent about me.”

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Tyger had a lovely childhood. “I grew up in a very liberal household, but I was also taught the importance of hard work and earning your own money. So I bought my own house and my own car.

I have been self-sufficient from an early age.

“It was a good lesson to learn – that nothing gets handed to you on a plate.”

As for Tyger’s career, he was nine when he starred in the school play Treasure Island and was spotted from the audience.

He soon had an agent, auditions and started getting parts. It all went from there. “I just thought ‘I’d better make the most of it,” he remembers, “and try to forge a career for myself.”

So when did Tyger actually consider himself a bona fide actor?

“Not until I was 18 really, when I realised I had to earn enough money and support myself,” he says.

“I’d spent most of my life acting but I was just going along with it until then.”

Being a child star and growing up in the spotlight had its downsides though: “Yes, I mean I was earning a lot of money.

Banbury Cake:

“Outnumbered changed everything. Landing a lead role in a BBC sitcom was so mad. It meant everyone saw it

“ It wasn’t until Outnumbered finished that I realised how lucky I was to work on a prime time show from the age of 10-21.

“I never questioned it. Going in front of an audience is what matters and choosing work that counts, that you can be proud of, and this role certainly fits the bill. It’s the right move.”

So what next? “I’d love to star in the West End.

“It’s something I’ve been trying to do, but with no theatre experience I couldn’t get a look in.”

Is it very different to TV?

““I’ll let you know,” he smiles.

“But as I was scouted for this I am confident they believe in me, and yes it’s another string to my bow, so I really want to get my teeth into it.

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“It’s really exciting. I think POSH will do really well.”

As for the performance itself, is Tyger nervous?

“Well it’s a new discipline,” he says.

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“You can’t retake anything or just learn your lines for the next day like you do with TV.

“Theatre is a rite of passage for an actor and acting in its purest form.

“It’s more of a feeling, becoming another character on stage. So on opening night in Oxford, of course I was nervous. I have some really chunky monologues, as well as a message to impart about who Alastair is and why.

Banbury Cake:

“I want to do the part justice because I see this as being the start of something.”

Best case scenario? “If it went really well and it got to the West End that would be incredible,” he says.

In the meantime, Tyger is at the Oxford Playhouse until Saturday and then tours the country, a novelty in itself. “I had never been to Oxford before,” Tyger says, “But it seemed fitting to open it here, with the Bullingdon Club and Oxford University.

“I think the theme makes it slightly more real.”

Is he looking forward to the tour? “Well I like my own space. I’m an only child so I’ve always been quite independent, but it’s going to be a great experience. The cast is amazing and I’m already looking forward to the memories. It feels like everything is coming together now that I’m taking my job seriously. And I’m allowing myself to enjoy it, even though it’s hard work. It’s a special time.”

  • POSH is at Oxford Playhouse until Saturday, 7 Sep. To book: oxfordplayhouse.com | 01865 305305. Tickets from £10.
  • Further tour dates at poshonstage.com