Masters of Drip

Wed 10th July – Sat 17th August 2013


Zoe Hunter Gordon

at 13:21 on 17th Aug 2013



Imagine a world where instead of churning out Waiting for Godot Samuel Beckett tried his hand at sketch comedy. A beautiful world, a bizarre world – this is the world of 'Masters of Drip'. Absurdist and hilarious in equal measure, as if Sammy himself had penned the sketches, Masters of Drip is a truly original comedic experience. Absurdist humour is not for everyone, but for those who know they love it, or for those who have never tried it, 'Masters of Drip' is a flawless example of the form.

Gavin Rankin and Michael Friederich are very, very talented. Never losing momentum, they take us on a journey through a crazy range of characters, donning a different accent and personality for every sketch. The energy is insane – the lightning quick turnover and physicality of the sketches hardly give the audience time to breathe, keeping us laughing even when the pair is offstage. It is clear that a huge amount of time and work has gone into developing the characters, and it has certainly paid off. A twitch of the lip or a flicker of the eye could send us into stitches, so clear was the characterisation.

A favourite sketch of mine involved a young man and “The Master of the Pit”. Perfectly mixing the everyday with the surreal, this sketch is one I will remember for a long time. Although 'Masters of Drip' did not have a storyline as such, they did return to characters through the hour, updating us on various scenarios and giving the piece a rounded feel. One should not expect a plot from a sketch show, and it is testament to the power of the characterisation that the show did feel like a complete piece in itself. The opening and ending sequence was especially helpful in creating this.

The only weakness of the piece is that some sketches felt rushed. Punch lines delivered at the end of a script were often poorly delivered in comparison to the rest of the piece. The sketches are brilliant, and they should be confident that if they take thirty seconds longer over an ending the audience will not get bored.

'Masters of Drip' is a hilariously inventive sketch show performed by two ridiculously talented young men. A free show, if you do have a spare hour at seven pm you’d be a fool to miss them.


Kayte Williams

at 00:57 on 19th Aug 2013



The sketches in 'Masters of Drip' are too short to present subtle, nuanced characters, so every person we see is extremely odd and bizarre. While this makes each situation totally original, it's impossible to relate to the characters, with the result that the show becomes a parade of lunatics and drags during the second half hour. However, the professionalism of Gavin Rankin and Michael Friedrich continually shines through, with their smart outfits and atmospheric music dividing the scenes. They are also constantly in character, with a confidence that keeps quite a few rowdy drunks silent.

The audience was silent throughout; don't come expecting to laugh. The scenes were always intense and often filled with conflict and shouting. If the atmosphere had varied at all, the show might have been more interesting to watch. The writing could also have been improved by a wider range of sketch length; whilst almost all of them were about five minutes, the ten-second water-in-face moment preceded by a ten minute sketch exploring a monster's self-esteem issues was a high point in the show. In fact, the monster with slime for a family who explores the world beyond his cave was the highlight of the show, showing a sympathetic character in a sketch which seems to be going somewhere. Unfortunately, by the time we'd understood the situation in most sketches, they finished abruptly with no real ending. This often made the establishing of an intriguing situation seem a little pointless.

I have to congratulate Rankin and Friedrich for their completely original characters and situations – I have no idea how they came up with the man who sticks children to the wall with jam, for example, or the chess players who seem to construct a poem as they argue the merits of daytime and nighttime. However, with a little normality thrown in, these situations might have been more relatable and therefore more enjoyable to watch.

So, while the characters and situations of the two 'Masters of Drip' were original and their acting faultless, the structure of the sketches could have done with more variety and, most importantly, better endings. I don't think it would cheapen the theatre to have a humorous twist or two to make a sketch memorable. So whilst this show isn't a wholly enjoyable hour for the audience (some repellent ideas suggest a dangerously dark imagination), I have no doubt of the pair's prodigious acting skills and successes to come.


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