IMPRESSIVE: Richard Pepple stars in The Fixer
OVALHOUSE THEATRE'S 'London via Lagos' season draws to a close with the opening of Lydia Adetunji’s The Fixer; the last in a trilogy of plays by British Nigerian writers.
The production tells the hackneyed tale of corruption, control and ultimate betrayal in Nigeria. The story wraps around an attack on a pipeline by disgruntled ‘boys’ in northern Nigeria – the aftermath of which sees two journalists vie for the scoop whilst harried PR consultants rush to manage and control the story.
Central to the story is the mack-daddy wanna-be fixer, Chuks, brilliantly played by Richard Pepple, who wants to make money to send to his family and run a bar. However, he finds himself drawn to his old life as a fixer – a go-between for foreign journalists and local groups, selling stories to the highest bidder.
For most of the 90 minutes, Pepple dominates the stage and out performs his cast members with the exception of the hapless Porter played by Nick Oshikanlu.
Co-directed by Dan Barnard and Rachel Brisco, the production is bitty, jumpy and quite frankly bizarre. Notably, the awkward scene changes of frenetic walking along imaginary streets, and the flinging of two airplane seats across the stage to represent a different place and time, are fairly pointless.
Still, all be it a retelling of a cliché story of African corruption, Adetunji presents a sharp, well-written script with poignant and witty dialogue. It is just a tragedy that the play is let down by its direction and staging.
The Fixer continues at Ovalhouse Theatre, 54 Kennington Oval, London SE1 until July 10. Call the box office on 020 7582 7680 or visit www.ovalhouse.com