Review: Drip Drip Drip, Pleasance Theatre

Drip Drip Drip is set in a typical British hospital run by enthusiastic and hard-working members of all the UK’s communities, most importantly those who get tarnished by ignorant bigots as benefits scroungers, or worse. 

David Keller plays an ex-professor stripped of his title for a revisionist lecture of the Nazi regime and the work of Karl Brandt within it. His Muslim Doctor Rahmiya (Lydia Bakelman) and him get on swimmingly until Rahmiya goes to his house to feed his cat and reads speeches left on his desk which expose his far-right views. Ironically for David in his dying days he is also supported by trainee nurse Daniel (Michael Workeye) an Eritrean refugee. Daniel is constantly juggling his aim of creating a better life for himself in the UK and being reunited with his beloved brother who failed to get on a truck across the channel at Calais.

Bakelman’s Rahmiya is a self-assured no-bullshit woman empowered to defend her religion and race against constant micro and macro-aggressions. Bakelman’s performance shows the strength that a Muslim woman needs to show in a society full of ignorance about their faith but also portrays her as so much more than just her religion. Rahmiya is also a vulnerable mother scared for her children after they face racist abuse, a woman broken by the tragic death of her brother from cancer aged 12, and an accomplished doctor who everyday faces ‘othering’ from colleagues and patients whilst they are just trying to do their job.

Unlike Rahmiya, Workeye’s Daniel faces life with a constant twinkle in his eye and spring in his step and simply shrugs off the prejudice that he faces. Accompanied by a soundtrack of Stormzy’s greatest hits Daniel is ready to work the hardest that he can to achieve his goals.

Both Rahmiya and Daniel live with narratives from others being forced upon them, however, Daniel shows Rahmiya that she is all too capable of this herself. When Rahmiya tries to tell Daniel his story of crossing borders he rejects her idea of what this means, and does not see how she is overcoming ‘borders’ in her own life as someone who has always lived in the UK. 

This play is a story of misunderstandings of each other through lack of conversation and a listening ear. Jon Welch’s writing tells us not just about this hospital, but of a UK of diverse communities who need to find common ground to simultaneously exist.

Drip Drip Drip is a love letter to the NHS and the beauty of multiculturalism and the need to protect it. Welch and Pipeline Theatre bring us a moving, sharp and eloquent story of our modern UK and is a true joy to watch.

Drip Drip Drip is playing at Pleasance Theatre until 21 March. For more information and tickets visit the Pleasance Theatre website.