Worklight Theatre's 'Fix': A Lighthearted Look At Addiction

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Have you been lucky enough to watch a Worklight Theatre production? SU:Print's Editor In Chief, Seren Kiremitcioglu, went to Theatre Royal Plymouth last night to watch Fix, one year after watching Labels.

Joe Sellman-Leava of Worklight Theatre is, in my eyes, an underrated genius. Throughout his theatrical writings, he's always so capable of drawing upon society's issues and making them both poignant and light-hearted. Whether it be the topic of racism, immigration, or addiction, he carefully studies and adapts these subjects to make them fit for the stage. I first watched Worklight's Labels at Theatre Royal Plymouth last year and was completely blown away by his one man show. It was therefore obvious to me that I just had to see Fix, his newest show, over at Theatre Royal Plymouth.

The show, which focussed on addiction, was pretty eccentric, I have to admit. Three larger-than-life characters took to a low-key and well-designed stage, created by Charlotte Anderson and lit by Sam Hollis-Pack. Admittedly, it took me a few minutes to warm to the characters as they burst with an enthusiasm that burned extremely bright for a Tuesday evening; however, I was soon so quickly blown away by how adaptable they were between characters and scenes.

It was beyond striking to see how Finlay Cormack transformed himself from a happy, upbeat, theatrical narrator of addiction, to a victim of it himself. I also have to speak highly of Fiona Whitelaw, who managed to do exactly the same.

Rianna Dearden, playing a social commentator and fictional therapist, educates the audience all about the science of addiction, dopamine, and serotonin, with co-stars Whitelaw and Cormack. They are all incredible in their own right. In her role of therapist, Dearden interacts with the two characters in both a serious and light hearted manner. Cormack plays the role of a gambling addict named Zach who accidentally causes harm to his daughter when distracted by a gambling app, and Whitelaw plays Maggie, the heartbroken wife of a sex addict. Despite the dark and difficult nature of the subject matter, Worklight's Sellman-Leava and co-writer, Michael Woodman, still manage to write a genuinely funny, laugh-out-loud piece of theatre.

The show is carried solely by the three actors, who all have such a bizarre and unassumable chemistry which allows them to bounce off of each other with a constant rolling dialogue.

However, it's also broken up with song;  'Dopamine! Rewards your brain, numbs your pain, dopamine! Dopamine! Provides the feeling you adore, keeps you coming back for more! Dopamine!' At one point, we're all invited to sing the song together as an audience, which is a slightly surreal experience, but not foreign of a Worklight Theatre production. However, my favourite song had to be Dearden's almost rap-like song that essentially spools off comments from PornHub. This definitely isn't a show for the little ones!

All in all, the show makes for an entertaining evening. I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone to check out the work of Worklight and Joe Sellman-Leava in particular; you will not leave disappointed or uneducated. You can still catch the show at Theatre Royal Plymouth from now until Saturday 9th September!

Seren Kiremitcioglu


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