A VAULT hit that I missed, Love’s A Beach is an hour’s good fun at Soho Theatre
“Live, laugh, leak”
After a week when people have been clutching their pearls at the (uncited) prospect of a theatre influencer charging £3,000 for a review, it’s kinda amusing that hit VAULT show Love’s A Beach is resurfacing for a one-off performance as part of Soho Rising Festival 2024. Written by Will Johnston and Katie Sayer, it dares to imagine what could come of an LGBT+ inclusive version of a show like Love Island.
Cyrus and Ben are the winners of Love’s A Beach, such a reality dating show, but we meet them in the aftermath, dealing with the newfound pressures of this particular level of fame and the choices it now presents. Opportunities to make money are coming in – from adult diapers to hotels in Dubai – but with influence come questions of responsibility and on this, the couple find themselves in different spots.
The writing is amusingly frothy to begin with, convincingly realistic with its tech savvy approach and none of the disdain that often comes with talk of influencers (as if advertising is a new phenomenon…). This is reflected throughout Phoebe Gibby’s production with its interstitial moments of commentary that point up the nature of so many of our interactions these days, dominated by the digital discourse.
James Akka and Iain Ferrier do well to root this relationship in believability too, even as it looks to be disintegrated. Akka’s Cyrus is delightfully self-obsessed in his pursuit of any and every offer and hungry for fame and followers whereas Ferrier’s Ben is much more grounded as someone more concerned with maintaining the normality in their lives. Will love ever outweigh the lucre? Hopefully there will be more chances to find out.