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RIP Robert Posner, driving force of the Academy Club – Philippa Stockley

Blog | By Philippa Stockley | Oct 10, 2023

Robert Posner on the Isle of Skye, his home

Robert Posner thundered into my life down the original Academy Club basement stairs at 51, Beak Street, Soho in 1990.

Energy burned off him. He ran the new club for a decade. Born in London in 1950 to Monte Posner and Joan Taylor, in his twenties he lived on Kibbutz Dan. Later, as business manager of The Literary Review, he was asked by Editor Auberon Waugh to set up and run a poor writers’ drinking club downstairs.

By God, those paupers drank! Sandals-and-socks, and poets, were banned. Robert nobbled me to mural the bogs and upstairs room, and design menus. Everyone came. I met Ben Kingsley, Bob Geldof, Peter Ackroyd, Andrew Adonis, George Walden. The bar staff included actor Lucy Cohu; Sophie Parkin cooked offsite.

Robert drove it. His indomitable enthusiasm for hard work, life, fags, booze; a good anecdote; never failed. He ran the first Bad Sex Awards, casting the plaster foot ‘award’. People loved him. When the club moved premises, after various jobs, in 2017 he answered a Private Eve ad, and moved to Skye, which instantly became his cherished home. Following a vigorous fight with cancer, he died there peacefully on October 9, with his daughter, Naomi Posner, at his side.

Philippa Stockley