The Fix

Date 10th May 2024
Society Stagedoor Theatre Productions
Venue Bolton Dance and Performing Arts
Type of Production Play
Director Chris Anderton
Producer A Chris Anderton Production
Written By Chris Anderton

Report

Author: Liz Hume-Dawson

Not often I get to review a preview of new writing. Chris Anderton usually known for penning Stagedoor Productions pantomimes takes on a powerful new drama about family problems dealing with drugs and mental health. The Morris Family with a son unable to talk to and relying on drugs and so-called friends to get him through. This is not for the fainthearted and tackles themes that are all too real in today’s society. The story unfolding was a familiar one I have seen friends go through with children that have lost their way and feel compelled to fit with anyone at whatever cost to themselves and family with dire consequences.

The setting was the Morris family living room with two entrances and window to the outside. Settee and chair with sideboard with stereo and phone. Table and side table with a photograph of the young Joe. Stage Right was used for the doctor’s office and in front of the curtains for street scenes. Stage Manager Dave Clift. Lighting and Sound all added to the scenes. Lighting Nathan Emmison and Sound Chris Anderton.

Writer Director Chris Anderton assembles a cast of eight actors and at the end a cast member steps forward to explain no one is alone and numbers in the programme are available if you should need help or are struggling.

Debbie Eustace takes on the concerned friend Ann. Nicola Shalliker plays the doctor who can only advise in a professional way. Ben Stanier is The Policeman whom we really all want to cheer as he does his arrest.

And now I come to the roadmen that was uncomfortably accurate with language like ‘bruv’ and the dirty hooded tracksuits. Lewis Parmar as Callum with is hand down his pants chilling accurate on pointe. Lewis shared the part with Oliver Openshaw and Connor Openshaw performing on other nights. Leon Wright playing Daz was frightening to watch controlling and no empathy whatsoever. Out for himself and if he loses a contact hey ho, on to someone else - easy pickings. A truly detestable character – well played.

Ethan Banks as Joe Morris who falls further down the rabbit hole with his mental health. His troubles get worse as he ignores his parents, pleas and gets further in with his so-called new friends. Ethan looked the part and we could witness his unravelling before our eyes. The told you so weighing heavy, as he then has to face life changing events. His monologue to his deceased father coming too late is painful to watch.

Dave Haycock played Paul Morris the long-suffering father of Joe and I mean suffering, with work and his son, his health is in jeopardy. He does what any parent would do, helping him out hoping it will be the last time. With support and love he hopes that will win through while wondering what did he do wrong as a parent? His quiet support is ever present and Dave played that well while trying to brush over his own health problems. It did strike me his support was not in vain but to his detriment.  His strong relationship with his wife played by Teresa Harper came through as the scenes played out.

Teresa playing Susan Morris also questions what did she do wrong was it her fault as surely a parent would in the same situation. Again, Teresa had a calmness about her and just as perplexed as her husband as she tried to come to terms with life deteriorating before her eyes as she also deals with her ill mother. Good characterisation not overplayed but hitting the right note and working well as the friend, mother and wife. This play needs to be done to high school students and hopefully some will take note.

Thank you so much for inviting me and the hospitality from my guest Val and I.

 

Liz Hume-Dawson

District 5 Rep