Leigh Hatts

The Fix at Union Theatre

The Union Theatre in Union Street has become more Union Square for a US election musical.

The Fix is by lyricist and playwright John Dempsey, who has worked in the United States. The music is by Dana P Rowe.

Although the pre-show warning about mobile phones says that they were not in use during the 1960s this story feels very up to date in this 2012 Presidential election year.

Miles Western plays 'Dr Spin', as he is once referred to, and the candidate's 'Uncle Grahame'. He is on stage most of the time deciding when the candidate sleeps, which tie he wears, restricting the policies and even choosing the bride. He also knows where the bodies are buried as they say in politics.

The problem is that the candidate has not volunteered for politics and does not even know what happens at city hall. Louis Maskell plays Cal the candidate as a young Kennedy with all the faults as well as skills.

The other dominant character is the candidate's mother Violet also played convincingly by Liz May Price who slowly reveals the character as crisis follows crisis. She is the powerful woman who has been a failed presidential candidate's wife and now pins all hope on her reluctant son.

Does it work? Has American politics changed? Is son like father? The answers come after 150 minutes (including interval) of highs and setbacks.

There are some good one-liners between the 25 songs as the new young candidate is trained up.

This enjoyable production, produced by Sasha Regan and directed by Michael Strassen, has a big energetic cast for this small theatre.

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