REVIEW: Fix (The Basement)

The cast of Fix.

Fix transfixes [by Sharu Delilkan]

The cast of Fix.
The cast of Fix.

Knowing that playwright Jess Sayer wrote this play when she was 21 is both amazing and somewhat disturbing. Her carnal knowledge of what it is like when someone experiences a personal crisis is phenomenal for someone of such a tender age.

However I quickly forget that this is the case as Fix basically sucks us all in as audience members. Whether you like it or not Sayer takes you for an emotional roller-coaster ride like none other. The beauty of this play is not only the sensitive subject matter but Sayer’s amazing turn of phrase that gives the whole piece it’s genuine feel, making us buy into the storyline from the get-go. Her ability to write such compelling conversational dialogue is fabulous, no wonder Fix was awarded the 2012 Playmarket Award.

Another thing that I didn’t actually clock, but was pointed out by my theatre buddy for the night, was that the show could very easily be something that could be transposed to television i.e. Sayer’s writing style and metre is somewhat TV-esque, which could have come from her own TV watching experience, but I digress.

In addition to Sayer’s absolutely extraordinary writing talent, we feasted on amazing acting talent. As expected, Elizabeth Hawthorne as her mother Dorothy is outstanding. Her stage presence is bar none, an utter joy to witness the doyen of Kiwi theatre up close.

Nicole Kawana, the protagonist Grace, absolutely embodies her character. She just reels us in from the moment we set eyes on her — in a word she ‘transfixes’. And she well and truly holds her own and beyond, when sitting across the table with Hawthorne. Her amazing ability to keep the energy levels up throughout the show definitely shines through.

Unfortunately I was not convinced by the reveal which involves both actors Andrew Laing (Carter) and Hanelle Harris (Nicole). All I’ll say at this juncture is that I found it difficult to buy into that particular storyline, mainly because their ‘alliance’ lacked the oomph that would have given it slightly more credibility. But that’s all I will say as I don’t want to give too much away.

Another stand out was Ryan Dulieu (Zak) who well and truly really impressed. This relatively young actor, in comparison to a majority of the cast, displayed amazing breadth. He is definitely one to keep an eye on — although he displayed great talent, I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg from this emerging actor.

As director Sam Snedden’s interpretation of Fix should be lauded as it is both bold and raw, resulting in gritty drama at its height. He appears to have given the cast the chance to explore these rather tawdry themes in great depth – allowing for the no holes barred performances.

So if you’re in the mood for an honest slice of human fallibility, I highly recommend Fix. It may not fix any crisis you’re going through but I can guarantee that it will make you think beyond your wildest dreams. Go see it, definitely worth a look in.

Fix  is presented by The Basement and Junket Theatre Company and plays at The Basement until 16 August. Details see The Basement

SEE ALSO: Theatreview.org.nz review by Kate Ward-Smythe

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