Review: Fun at the Beach Romp-Bomp-a-Lomp!!, Southwark Playhouse

Daft as a brush and frothily enjoyable, Fun at the Beach Romp-Bomp-a-Lomp!! plays at Southwark Playhouse Borough through June

“Who put the romp in the Beach Romp-Bomp-a-Lomp?”

With a starting point of Grease meets Squid Game, Brandon Lambert and Martin Landry have undoubtedly had fun in putting together Fun at the Beach Romp-Bomp-a-Lomp!!, not least in coming up with that title. In some ways though, you do wonder if the fringe might not have been its more natural home, starting off with a tighter hour (as opposed to the 85 minutes here) to really hone its material.

An out-and-out romp, a group of chirpy kids are singing and dancing, having a good time as they prepare to compete to become King or Queen of the Beach. Only thing is, the contests are increasingly deadly with sharks in the water and electrified beach balls to contend with – oopsies. As they’re all horny teenagers too, there’s a whole lotta heteronormative coupling to get up as well.

Book-wise, it is silly fun but only intermittently truly funny, a bit too much fallback on reptition and over-extended gags. It is great that Lambert and Landry aren’t taking themselves at all seriously here but the script could seriously do with an edit. More successful are the songs, lyrical pastiches on 50s and 60s classics – ‘The Loco-Motion’ becomes the ‘The Ocean-Motion’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ to ‘Mature Women Don’t Whine’, you get the drift. The company all sing well, Ellie Clayton steals the honours with the most impactful character in Mary-Joe.

‘It’s In His Kiss’ becoming ‘It’s In His Peck’ is the best of the bunch, really playing off the lyrics of the original to get the laughs but again, there’s a touch of repetitiousness. You could argue there’s a case for not taking this all quite so seriously but as shown with the success of the constantly reworked and rehoned Police Cops, the sky’s the limit if you’ve got a good concept which, I’d say, this does.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *