Brenda is in trouble. She has woken up with a major hangover and is outdoors and next to a set of bins. She has been out partying and is feeling the consequences of the alcohol consumption. Drip Feed is a solo show about growing up queer in Ireland. It’s a coming of age tale that brings a vital story to the stage and covers themes of heartbreak, mental health and belonging.
We follow Brenda as she navigates her life. She likes to party with her friend Veronica and wants happiness with her occasional girlfriend Olivia. She feels that she needs to break away from her hometown and her struggles and her triumphs are brought to the stage with heart and empathy. The stage design reflects the scrambled thoughts and feelings that are in the head of the protagonist. A sofa bed is half sprawled across the stage, a lamp has fallen over and everything looks a bit muddled, distressed and displaced. Karen Cogan fully embodies the character of Brenda and takes the audience on a journey with her strong and honest words. She describes homophobic abuse in dark and tragic tones that allow us to get under the skin of the character and empathise with her plight. The ending is uplifting and we see Brenda filled with optimism and hopeful for the future. This in turn ensures the audience leave the venue feeling the same emotions and this is a powerful experience and makes Drip Feed feel truly special.
Drip Feed was Shortlisted for Soho Theatre’s biennial Verity Bargate Award and it is obvious why the Soho Theatre have brought it to the Edinburgh Fringe. It is a vibrant and well crafted story that is presented by an excellent performer. At times Drip Feed feels like a spoken word or performance poetry piece. The rhythm of the words roll off the tongue. Karen Cogan’s delivery never feels forced and the natural tone goes directly to the heart. The show has a warmth about it and this is due to the nature of the performer, quality of the script and the care that has been taken in expressing important and necessary themes.