DramaMusicalNorth WestReview

Drip – The Lowry, Salford

Music: Matthew Robins

Book & Lyrics: Tom Wells

Director: Jane Fallowfield

Reviewer: Sam Lowe

On the way in, the audience are given blue rain ponchos. Either, there is a leak in the studio or it’s most likely to do with the fact that this, one-man musical comedy, is titled, Drip. It is presented by Script Club and Boundless Theatre, who create relevant and shareable theatre for young people and curious individuals.

We arrive at a school presentation in an assembly hall, where Miss Barton is loving life at the lighting and sound desk. There is a classroom chair and a desk with a Spiderman action figure on it. A nervous, 15-year-old, Liam takes centre stage. Liam explains he’s just signed up for Bev Road Baths’ first-ever synchronised swimming team. All this effort is for his best mate, Caz. The thing is, she needs to get a team together to win the annual Project Prize at school. Caz has tried numerous times and has always lost. But Liam’s an optimist – determined to help. Liam fails to mention, however, that he can’t swim. So, this tale of friendship and growing up begins.

Josh Tucker gives a life-like performance as Liam. He plays a young teenager who is: shy, charming, likeable, sweet, polite, and naïve. Occasionally, looking like a rabbit in the headlights. He takes on the role of narrator, as he announces each scene number and tells us about what other characters say or do in the story. Creative thinking has been given to his interaction with the audience. When Tucker as Liam tells an audience member to do something, he’s not bossy and acts as if it’s his first time onstage. The way in which the rain ponchos are used, among other audience activity ideas, is playful.  It’s his character’s innocence which provides warm moments of humour. Tucker’s personable singing voice compliments Liam’s character. His voice is effortless throughout his range. The guitar playing is good, however tonally some chords and notes are not always consistent and clear.

Lyrics to songs have a conversational quality about them. There are songs about growing up, finding yourself, and love which are funny and relatable. Musically, songs do sound rather similar to one another, as the same chords tend to appear regularly. Not enough differentiation between songs means they don’t particularly stick in your mind, albeit they still make an impact in effectively telling the story.

Lighting designer, Adam Foley has come up with design capturing the themes and events in the narrative. We note the rainbow colours, symbolic of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, the clinical lighting of the classroom, and the various shades of blue like ripples on the surface of a swimming pool.

All things considered, the narrative concept of Liam trying to make his school presentation the biggest and best thing ever, when it isn’t in reality, is sweet and funny. Drip is a good, warm-hearted, and relatable solo musical – but overall makes more of a splosh than a splash.

Reviewed on 31 January 2019. | Image: Contributed

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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