‘No less affecting for its smaller scope’: DRIP – Bush Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

Bush Theatre, London – 22 December 2018

In events I can’t imagine being repeated anytime soon, I was the nominated ‘audience hunk’ for this performance of Drip, and far be it from me to review my own performance but never has a wind-chime been tinkled so beautifully… This kind of light-touch audience interaction is threaded throughout the show and really helps to set the mood of slightly bemused wonder.

Tom WellsDrip popped up briefly in the library at the Bush Theatre last year, played Edinburgh over the summer and returns to W12 in the studio where its idiosyncratic charms prove well suited. A one-man musical, we follow 15-year-old Liam as he makes a presentation to his school assembly in an attempt to win the annual Project Prize and, more importantly, win back his friend Caz.

See. He was meant to join her synchronised swimming team but he can’t really swim. And now he’s making a musical presentation and he’s only just starting to write songs. It’s a neat set-up which allows for Matthew Robins’ deceptively simple songs to earworm their way into your head, and for Wells’ wryly observed but always heartfelt lyrics to really strike home in all their honesty.

The drama here may not be on an epic scale but it is no less affecting for its smaller scope. Refreshingly, Liam’s a sorted, out gay kid and as such, his concerns are any teenager’s concerns. Whether smoking looks cool, how to flirt when you’re not sure the fit boy reciprocates your feelings, how to get your best friend to talk to you again, whether anyone can pull off peach swimming shorts…

Words like slight and twee are too easily tossed off here and are a disservice to both Jane Fallowfield’s production (ponchos and all) and Andrew Finnigan’s adorably sweet performance. Look elsewhere for your 11 o’clock numbers and cliffhangers and settle in here for something altogether more delicately moving.

Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
Read more...

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."

Leave a Comment