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I Love Acting But F*ck This Industry | Theatre Peckham

Is it worth the effort? Should I change myself for a job? Will artificial intelligence eventually take that job from me? And will success feel as good as I expect? These are all questions posed by I Love Acting But F*ck This Industry, in its ninety-minute exposé of the troubles currently faced by young actors. But at the same time they are questions which most people in the audience, actor or not, can relate to. Presented as part of Theatre Peckham’s Young, Gifted and Black season, a five-week showcase of young black talent in theatre, film, music and poetry, and directed by Rayxia OjoI Love Acting But F*ck This Industry is the story of three friends in South London, Manny (Alvin Ikenwe), Ade (Mohammed Mansaray) and Zion (Malachi Pullar-Latchman), trying to navigate the post-pandemic acting industry. 


There is no weak link in the three-man cast, with all three embodying their characters perfectly. Ikenwe’s strong presence and comic timing make him the early standout, but Mansaray’s unyielding pathos and Pullar-Latchman’s steady unravelling of the challenges of fame also quickly win the audience over.  Faisal Dacosta and Raphel Famotibe’s script immediately draws you in, with the dialogue between the three leads feeling completely natural, and even the the extended monologues which the characters are given feeling less like theatrical pieces than genuine diatribes against the difficulties which they have to face. These difficulties are not only presented by the industry in which they are trying to make their name. Manny’s efforts to find a home which he doesn’t have to share with multiple others and Ade’s desire to better support his sick mother (portrayed through recordings by Bola Akeju) are relatable to those who cannot see themselves in the struggling creatives.


The production is punctuated by scenes in which movement direction from Yemurai Zvaraya and sound from Rochelle Frommars are combined to portray the often manic and overwhelming world which the three men inhabit. This is particularly effective in an early scene juxtaposing Manny, Ade and Zion’s ongoing auditions, and later when the reality behind Zion’s success is starkly exposed. In both of these scenes the layering of sound becomes almost claustrophobic, giving the audience a visceral insight into the thoughts whirling in the characters’ heads. Set design from Aliyah-Marie Yanguba is simple, but immediately places us in the acting world. This simplicity, along with Zvaraya’s movement direction, allows the space to quickly transform from scene to scene. 


I Love Acting But F*ck This Industry provides a no holds barred look at the state of the acting industry and modern life, posing important question which will surely resonate with audiences long after they have left the theatre. I Love Acting But F*ck This Industry runs at Theatre Peckham until 18 October. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


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AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review

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