🎭 Love’s A Beach
📍 Drayton Arms Theatre
🎫 PR invite
Katie Sayer and Will Johnston’s hilarious comedy play unveils the life of influencers and the impact of wanting to be social media famous!
Ben and Cyrus (played by Iain Ferrier and James Akka) are runners-up in a popular reality TV dating show. Months after leaving the villa, the couple finds themselves drained by the sponsored content they participate in, trying to increase their social following. Promoting lawnmowers and adult ‘Happy Nappies’ was not on their bucket lists! While Ben seems content with returning to his old life and using his platform to raise awareness of the environment, Cyrus wants to do whatever it takes to alleviate his fame and reach his dream of having 1 million Instagram followers.
Cyrus and Ben receive a luxurious million-pound influencing deal in Dubai to promote a new hotel chain. Ben is hesitant and reminds Cyrus of the UAE laws when it comes to being LGBTQ+ and the dangers they face. However, Cyrus doesn’t think of morals, focussing only on money and his follower count.
Akka and Ferrier displayed the most hilarious comedic timing that had the audience laughing out loud right from the start. The actors’ palpable chemistry created an authentic performance. Akka brilliantly plays Cyrus, the self-centred, social media fanatic. Ferrier’s Ben is patient, practical and tries to bring his boyfriend back down to earth. The writing is witty, fast-paced and packed with several jokes and references that were delivered perfectly by the cast.
I appreciated the writing having a balance of comedy and seriousness, especially as we saw a glimpse of vulnerability from Cyrus. The topic of gay rights in UAE is brought up when we learn of the couple’s invitation to Dubai. I was expecting just a bit more on this, considering Cyrus’ decision to stay in the country.
While the script pokes fun at influencer marketing (Ben attending an 8 am opening of ‘Pets At Home’ had me creasing!), ‘Love’s A Beach’ also highlights the incessant media reporting and pressures of being in the spotlight. In a series of sound bites, we hear a chorus of tabloid headlines and talk panels, discussing influencers, consumerism, and fake gossip about Cyrus’ haemorrhoids!
Even with a minimal set design and the occasional props, Phoebe Barrett’s direction keeps us fully engaged, with the actors utilising the entire stage. I enjoyed watching the duo reenact their text messages; Akka particularly caught my attention with their humorous facial expressions.
With slick direction, a satirical script and brilliant acting from the cast, ‘Love’s A Beach’ is a great piece of comedy theatre, that is incredibly relevant to our current digital climate. I’d love to see where this show goes next!
‘Love’s A Beach‘ is playing at Drayton Arms Theatre until 29 April 2023. You can buy tickets here!