REVIEW | Fat Chance | Rachel Stockdale | Edinburgh Fringe
24-28 Aug | 10.30am | Pleasance Dome | JackDome | Get Tickets
The job of an actor always appears glamourous and cool to the outsider but there are few patrons of the industry who know the real story. The sad reality is that, even in these times of change driving towards equality, the mainstream arts industry in Britain is still orientated towards (for lack of a better description) white, thin, southern people.
And the truth is that this particular part of the theatre world is not well regulated, if regulated at all. Agents can pick and choose their clients based on race, gender and aesthetics and don’t have to justify their choices or diversify their books.
This is what lead Rachel Stockdale to being told:
“You’re Northern, you’re fat and you’re a woman. You can only be two out of three to make it in this industry.”
Fat Chance is her story of fighting to be an actor whilst upholding who she truly is, a plus-sized, northern woman.
And she does this brilliantly weaving in storytelling with statistics and facts to emphasis the prominence of fatphobia in our society.
Did you know, for example, that measuring your BMI is based off a singular study which was designed for Caucasian men and not only does it not take women or race into account but has never been queried since it’s discovery in the 1800s and introduction into mainstream medicine in the 1980s. Makes you think doesn’t it?
The action centres around Rachel’s living room, taking us on a guided tour of the intimate details of her life, both the professional and personal aspects. By cleverly intertwining AV, physical comedy and moment of unabashed realness she really hammers some home truths into the audience.
A remarkable first production. I have no doubt she will move onto great things,
The Arts Business Top Tips:
- Biography: Who’s story do you know more intimately than your own? For Rachel’s first full length show she bravely explores of her own experiences in the creative industries. Not only is it the perfect topic for you debut as you always have the greatest amount of knowledge on your own life (if anything you know it the best 😉), but it illustrates the dark side of the arts sector in a story which needs to be told.
- Social Phobias: We all have natural prejudices which throughout our lifetime seem to be inconspicuously woven into the fabric of our personalities as we grow, whether that’s racism, an aversion to the LGBT community or conceptions of body image, to note but a few. If we’re not forced to question these preconceptions, we can’t make a positive change. This is what Rachel is doing with this show. I could see this becoming a great community driven project or piece of TIE and think the show could cleverly evolve to become a teaching tool for the next generation.