As the UK prepares to exit the EU this week, five-star Pipeline Theatre readies a new tour and London season for Drip Drip Drip, its taboo-busting play set in the NHS.
Written and directed by Jon Welch, Drip Drip Drip launches on tour at The Drum, Plymouth Theatre Royal from 11 February 2020 before transferring for a three-week season at London’s Pleasance Theatre from 3 to 21 March.
Amidst the increasingly tense backdrop of Brexit Britain, Pipeline Theatre’s latest play takes a look at Britain’s much-loved NHS and the complexities, and often uncomfortable truths, faced when taboos are confronted by reality. Drip Drip Drip takes us into a microcosm where an NHS care team finds itself treating an alt-right Islamophobe and disgraced academic, who happens to be terminally ill and desperately clinging on to his own sense of entitlement and toxic beliefs.
Bed 6, Oncology ward, a local NHS hospital.
Behind the blue curtain – Daniel, a refugee from Eritrea, now training to be a nurse; Rahmiya, a second-generation Muslim doctor; and David, elderly white cancer patient (and Nazi revisionist), fretting about his cat, Roger.
Over time, carers and cared-for become an unlikely, dysfunctional family.
But as David’s grasp of reality splinters, the reality of Rahmiya and Daniel’s lived experience comes into sharper focus. Made worse, as drip by drip, David’s far-right ideology seeps out, while he obsesses about a final lecture he’s due to give.
Bonds break, and suddenly both Daniel and Rahmiya’s ability to call the UK home seems to hang on a dead man’s lips.
Drip Drip Drip is designed by Pipeline core team members Alan and Jude Munden, with music and sound by writer, director and fellow founder Jon Welch. The cast are David Keller, Lydia Bakelmun, Micheal Workeye, Girum Bekele and Alan Munden.
The new tour of Drip Drip Drip visits Plymouth’s The Drum (11-15 February), Bristol’s Wardrobe Theatre (19-20 February), Bath’s Rondo Theatre (22 February), Sheffield’s Theatre Deli (26 February), Birmingham Mac (27 February) and then The Pleasance in London (3 to 21 March).
With the NHS being at the centre of political debate and emblematic of this county’s continued reliance of labour and talent from the waves of migration into Britain, Drip Drip Drip forces us to consider the impact of the individuals who keep it going – a theatrical provocation that looks at moments of vulnerability when confronted with the question of what home and belonging mean in today’s uncertain landscape.
Pipeline Theatre dissects care and cruelty with unexpected humour and poignancy, busting taboos while offering its love-letter to the NHS. To make the play, the company has collaborated with an army of medical experts, academics, healthcare workers, and support workers within Muslim and refugee communities.
Pipeline writer Jon Welch has taken as his starting point seemingly binary debates:
“Brexit, Trump, immigration, refugees – language is thrown around without care. And how easy it is to shout one’s loyalties through the consequence-free, 360ᴼ trumpet-cacophony of social media. But when we actually come face-to-face with the ‘other’, what happens when a human being is revealed? Particularly when, as in hospital, the stakes are so high.”
About Pipeline Theatre
Cornwall-based Pipeline Theatre creates text-based drama with high-end design. It’s known for new writing, indelible characters and immersive production values, gaining access to the big issues through the back-window of “unremarkable lives”.
Drip Drip Drip is the company’s sixth show. Their previous productions include Transports, Streaming and Spillikin, which have all toured nationally garnering five and four-star reviews, whilst Swivelhead showcased in Edinburgh to similar critical acclaim. Spillikin broke box office records at the Drum, Plymouth Theatre Royal, and was nominated for the Carol Tambor ‘Best of Edinburgh’ award.
“Watching a Pipeline Theatre play is like watching one of the classics, trusting all the while that it is carefully building to something sublime” – The Upcoming
“Once again their distinctive style and exquisite design sets them at the top of the small-scale touring theatre ladder. There are few companies who have such compelling stories to tell or do so in such a beautifully nuanced and unique way” – Theatre Bath
Drip Drip Drip tours from 11 February 2020, concluding in London from 3 to 21 March 2020 at the Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF, where performances run Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 6pm. Tickets are priced £14-16. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!