Knock&Run, at the Royal Exchange
DEZ Robertson’s dark comedy The Fix showed in this premiere production just how engaging a work that has just two people talking for an hour on a building’s rooftop can be. Audience members laughed, smiled and were sometimes open-mouthed as revelations were made about the men’s backgrounds, lifestyles and needs.
The story began with two men arriving about the same time on the rooftop. The suit-wearing lawyer (played by Tony Gluck) clearly was experiencing problems as he prepared to jump from the roof, while the joke-delivering man in uniform-style garb (Timothy Blundell) made no secret of the fact that, as a security guard, he had to sneak away from his job to smoke. And when the guard was isolated on the roof by a door automatically locking after a certain time, the pair began conversing, with the guard trying to dissuade the troubled man from suiciding.
Robertson, who also directed, made the men’s situations very believable. Their difficulties had grown over the years, as they tried to handle the sleight-of-hand of relatives, friends and workmates. But they weren’t beyond laughing, with the guard cracking jokes about his passion for tobacco, referring to it as “nicolcraven”, and trying to dissuade the lawyer from experiencing “gravity”. Gluck and Blundell were very real people, and the audience could sympathise with them, as they waited to see whether the two could fix their problems.