Fix is a curious beast. From Worklight Theatre (of Labels fame) the piece claims to follow ‘three very different people with very different vices’, based on what seems to be hours and hours of research talking to people suffering from (and specializing in) addiction. However, sadly, little of this phenomenal effort is actually visible in the piece of theatre that’s made its way onstage.
In this particular piece the focus is on behavioural addictions rather than substance-related problems, mainly because (as the ensemble pointed out) the latter usually receives more coverage. But instead of going into depth about gambling and sex cravings, Fix ends up producing a highly simplistic overview of the subject, framed by a rather uninspired song about dopamine.
This isn’t to say that the science behind behavioural addictions isn’t interesting – the production of dopamine and the stimulation of the synapses is fascinating, but the style with which this was communicated was similar to a primary-school lesson. More focus on the three characters would have meant the audience would be emotionally invested in their fates and be able to empathize with their plights, rather than being encouraged to see the situation in a bizarrely detached way. We were encouraged to judge the characters instead of being shown their complexities – especially in Maggie’s case (wife to a porn addict) the interpretation didn’t draw upon the subtleties and nuances that must exist in such a position. Fix has done a huge amount of very important groundwork, but the company hasn’t succeeded in bringing all of it together to create a thoughtful piece of theatre.