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© Robert Day

In northern Nigeria, shadowy milititants The Boys attack a pipeline belonging to oil company The Consortium. Two British journalists – jaded veteran Dave, white, and cocky rookie Laurence, black – arrive in town, wanting to interview The Boys. To do so they need a ‘fixer’; they need Chuks, a sharply dressed wheeler-dealer who is starting to have doubts about such a life.

Dan Barnard and Rachel Briscoe’s production of Lydia Adetunji’s thriller is strongest when the action focuses on these three. Alex Barclay’s louche, compassionate Dave, Damola Adelaja’s liberal hypocrite Laurence and Richard Pepple’s nervy Chuks all spark off each other tremendously well. But they also embody the play’s themes in miniature, with Chuks representing the Nigerian everyman – smart, but ultimately shafted by powerful outside interests.

Elsewhere ‘Fixer’ flags, thanks to weaker secondary characters and a disappointing lack of geopolitical specificity – I never really got a clear sense of Nigeria (the lack of set doesn’t help) and both The Boys and The Consortium feel like vague, simplified stand-ins for their real-world equivalents.


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