Edinburgh Fringe 2019
‘Be strong. Keep your head up. Knock ’em dead.’ Lee has autism, Zara has CHARGE syndrome and Kirsty has Cerebral Palsy. They eat rules, boxes and labels for breakfast. Just wait ‘til you meet their alter egos. Access All Areas-supported artists The BareFace Collective present Fix Us: a funny, defiant new show. Cheeky, sexy and full of charm… BareFace show you who they really are.
Here we are in the stalls a major West End theatre anticipating that noble Knight ‘Serena’ McKellen to come on stage as Shylock when a crackly tannoy announcement tells us that we will have to wait for curtain up. He’s having a bath. Given an empty stage and a dressing up box full of costumes and props (apparently two plastic sheep and a cactus feature in this staging of The Merchant of Venice) three lowly stage hands snatch their chance at a tiny bit of front of house fame. Shy and introverted Kelly, body conscious Lee and gawky Zara transform before our eyes into Bad girl KK, Captain Everyman and the sex siren movie star Zia.
So starts Fix Us, an hour of funny but edgy political comedy, scripted by stand up comic Tom Palmer, co-written with the cast. The stories of young people struggling. All graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama Diploma in Performance making. But they are the stories of all of us, unless we are brim full of confidence about our looks and earning potential, wishing that we too could smash the bullies, strut down a catwalk and be a hit with the ladeeze.
Using spoken word, voice overs of their inner thoughts and short films of showing the cheeky antics of their alter egos Kirsty, Lee and Zara act out crazy and poignant ‘what if’ scenarios before Sir Ian realises his bath water is getting cold and threatens to disrupt their fun. There is even the obligatory hauling up an audience member onto stage, discovering his embarrassing stash of (planted porn) and used tube of Anusol (sit in the middle of the back row if this is not for you) and some celebratory mass participation to engage us in this delightful story telling.
Kirsty, Lee and Zia are all confident performers with Palmer’s deftly scripted material and they get a warm reception from an appreciative audience. Killer K is a bit sweary and Captain American keen to show us a lot of his muscles so this is probably not suitable for younger children or sensitive flowers but everyone else should check out this lunchtime show, running for the whole of the Fringe.