top of page

Fun at the Beach Romp-Bomp-A-Lomp!! | Southwark Playhouse Borough

Fun at the Beach Romp-Bomp-A-Lomp!! is a new musical which has been directed by Mark Bell, with a book by Martin Landry and lyrics, music and orchestrations by Brandon Lambert. A silly, punny, impersonations filled, satrical plot is what makes this musical a hilarious time at the theatre. Refusing to take itself seriously, the musical invites audiences to laugh with (and at) the characters.

The story follows two sets of friends - three women called Chickie, Mary Joe and Chastity, and three men called Dickie, Joe and Dude, as they spend a fun day at the beach, seeking entertainment and hoping for love. However upon entering a competition to become the beach King and Queen, the musical takes a dark turn with the twisted challenges. With characters being (permanently) eliminated, the stakes are high, hope is low and the tension is very intense. Amusing, entirely ridiculous and far-fetched, the musical's decision not to take itself seriously is the show's saving grace. With the playful satirical tone set quite early on, the competition is regarded less as an actual plot, but more as an effective and easy way to throw a silly world together with a dramatic flair. 

This cast truly make the show and have a clear understanding of the character stereotypes. Utterly convincing in their roles, the cast equally weigh in on the musical and are a riot to watch. Katie Oxman and Damien James as Chickie and Dickie, are impressive as the loud love birds. Tom Babbage as Joe makes excellent use of his ability for exaggeration to deliver ironically hilarious numbers. Ellie Clayton is a wonderful addition in her angelic, yet devilish performance as the awkward and vengeful Mary Joe. The show's main couple Chastity and Dude (Janice Landry and Jack Whittle) deliver show stealing performances. Both playing into extreme stereotypes (his single strand of hair with deep rooted insecurity and natural coolness, and her "poor foolish" mind, straight posture and gentle voice), the absurdity of the two characters is surprisingly investing. Despite the limited scope for acting, Whittle and Landry both manage to deliver convincing character arcs. Landry as the competition host through voice overs is hilarious with brilliant comedic timing, biting commentary and dramatic flair. 

The stage (Emily Bestow) is set to resemble beach Romp-Bomp-A-Lomp (with a helpful colourful sign of the name above the stage in lights). This is further established with a painted backdrop of sandy mountains, palm trees adorn the stage on either side, a large sandy dune sitting centre stage and a glowing sun. Keeping in tone with the setting, the band re given their own section on a side of the stage, dressed in beachy outfits, and under umbrellas.

The lighting design (Adam King) is fantastic with a cheeky use of blackouts and darkness with the setting sun, or casting dramatic spotlights on certain characters. Illuminating the name of the beach throughout, the bright and colourful lights do remind one of a pleasant day at the beach. The sound design (Andy Graham) is minimal, mostly used to create crashing waves. However there are certain moments of genius, wherein lighting and sound come together to create the sizzling effect of electricity buzzing loudly. 

Fun at the Beach Romp-Bomp-A-Lomp!! is a silly, fever dream of a show, uninhibited by rules (or logic) and yet makes for a fun watch, especially with some catchy songs. It is currently playing at the Southwark Playhouse until the 22nd June - for more information and tickets, you can follow the link here

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4*)

Gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Danny Kaan


bottom of page