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The Crack Magazine


Fat Chance at Northern Stage

 Northern, fat and working class – the aspiring actress can apparently have two of these strikes against her, but if she ticks all three boxes then her career’s over before it begins. This, at least, is the professional doom predicted for aspiring actress/comic Rachel Stockdale. How lucky, then, that somehow she still finds herself returning to Northern Stage and, despite these (apparent) odds,  delivering a  funny, personal, thoroughly engaging one-woman show (well, almost – she had a little help with the wedding dress and the parmo from Kylie, and there was also the talking standard lamp, but a gal’s gotta bounce off something.) The on-going story is an unashamedly personal Odyssey negotiating not just fluctuations in weight, health, career and dress size, but more particularly how these affect the way (most) other people see and respond to us. That’s the campaigning aspect, but it’s delivered with wry, self-aware humour informed by the snakes-and-ladders game of doubt and confidence that affects most of us, irrespective of body-shape. And we’re allowed to say “fat” – just a descriptive word here. Be warned, though – watching this may prompt more sensitive audience members to dash off to Middlesbrough in pursuit of a Chicken (well, cauliflower) Parmo.

Gail-Nina Anderson