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Drip review at Roundabout, Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘sweet but slight musical about synchronised swimming’

Tom Wells is master of the adorkable. There’s a lovely, gentle, huggable quality to his plays. And that continues here, although perhaps less potently than in previous work.

Liam is 15 and making a presentation in assembly in order to win the Project Prize – and win back his best friend Caz. He explains how he learned to swim and joined a synchronised swimming team. Actor Andrew Finnigan stands in the middle of the Paines Plough Roundabout in school uniform, at a microphone, with a guitar.

What follows is a sweet but slight musical about friendship and love and pride. It’s full of really wonderful bits – like the audience all donning blue ponchos to represent the pool where Liam is learning to swim – but doesn’t string together brilliantly.

Finnigan’s delivery, deadpan and full of gawky slowdowns and stops, is just a little too casual. For a story in which nothing really happens, there needs to be a snappier pace to distract from the fact that nothing really happens.

Matthew Robins’ songs are particularly good – catchy, meandering ditties played (deliberately?) badly by Finnigan on the guitar – and there’s a nice through-line about owning your awkwardness.

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Verdict
Sweet but slight musical about synchronised swimming and friendship

Production

Venue
Drip
City
Edinburgh
Starts
August 20, 2018
Ends
August 26, 2018, then touring
Authors
Tom Wells
Music
Matthew Robins
Director
Jane Fallowfield
Set
Russ Henry
Lighting
Adam Foley
Cast includes
Andrew Finnigan
Producer
Boundless Theatre, Script Club
Running time
1hr