Fix Us, presented by the BareFace Collective playing at the Underbelly Cowgate, is a defiant and inspiring look at how theatre and role play can help all of us to find our true selves.
The play is transformative, challenging and laugh out loud funny.
Performed by Lee, Zara, and Kristy, three performers with different disabilities, the production asks us to look past their outward appearances and instead see the vivacious, brave, magnificent alternate egos that they really are. The theatrical premise revolves around a production of a Merchant of Venice staring Sir Ian McKellen that is delayed for an hour by the titular stars need for a bath. This delay allows for Zara, Lee, and Kristy to take the stage, steal the costumes from the production, and put on a hilarious and emotionally cathartic production of their own.
All three performers have great wit and energy. They move through the play and some of its trickier situations, with confidence and style. Kirsty is a particular stand out with her transformation into Killer KK, a thug gang member who has a particularly hilarious encounter with Sir Ian in his bathroom.
The narrative structure of the play slows down too much in the the last third, but the actors enthusiasm helps to power them through. The script itself could use some tightening and clarity around the climax of the play. I’m not sure the characters themselves know how the play should ultimately resolve itself.
The production is essentially the story of Everyman, Lee’s superhero alter-ego, and examines how all of us, regardless of ability, create characters that live in our heads in order to be our best selves. The play is transformative, challenging and laugh out loud funny. Throughout their performances the actors don’t just “fix” themselves, they “fix” us as well.