Lydia Adetunji’s political play Fixer starts slowly. With a weighty storyline, Adetunji must get the pace just right. She manages this feat with impressive direction by Dan Barnard and Rachel Briscoe. In a simple set with only airline passenger seats and a crate of Guinness, they transport the audience to northern Nigeria.
The minimalism is enhanced by the energy embodied in sound and lighting effects, which frame each scene. Scenes are further charged with kinetic energy as the dynamic cast run, walk and kneel around the periphery of the stage. The atmosphere is electric and, electrocuted; the audience remains transfixed for the duration of the play.
Fixer appeals in every direction. It references left wing environmentalism and right wing economics. Centering on geopolitics and the media frenzy around an attack on a new oil pipeline, the play highlights the spin put on militancy.
In the struggle for the inside scoop, fixer Chuks (Richard Pepple) puts his life at risk as go-between for foreign correspondents and local groups. The role is financially lucrative but dangerous. In a world where corruption and bribery is rife, Chuks takes his chance to make a better life for himself and his sick daughter.
As a former journalist, Adetunji’s drama insightfully questions journalistic integrity and the price of human life amid ego driven career climbing. While the journalists use their contacts, capital and cultural heritage to advance, locals must rely on their wits.
With so many journalists as part of cast and crew, Fixer provides the perfect mouthpiece to frankly explore the ongoing issues of Nigerian activism and petroleum politics. This is an important play on important issues.
Fixer runs Tuesdays – Sundays at 7.45pm, until 10 July. Tickets are £14.00/£7.00 concessions. For more on Fixer and the London via Lagos festival, visit Oval House Theatre’s website.
The UK Corner covers urban entertainment from a British perspective and is written by Fiona McKinson ©. She is a freelance journalist and creative writer based in London. Contact her at [email protected]. For more entertainment visit her blog: http://www.thetalentshow.co.uk/theukcorner/