Rachel Stockdale Says "Fat Chance" - A Discussion On Her Latest Politically Powerful Solo Show

Dive into the world of Rachel Stockdale's captivating one-woman play, "Fat Chance"
Mag North
April 1, 2024

Actor Rachel Stockdale is bringing her one-woman play, "Fat Chance," to the Bramall Rock Void at Leeds Playhouse from 5-6 April. In this funny and politically conscientious production, Stockdale delves into her real-life experiences of weight gain and the hurdles she's encountered while forging her career.

"Fat Chance" explores themes of fatphobia, classism, and feminism from the perspective of a fat, northern, benefit class woman, Stockdale explains. "It's a celebration of our differences and how they make us unique."

The inspiration for the show struck Stockdale during her honeymoon. "We walked into a beautiful restaurant in Lake Bled (Slovenia) and the waiter said ‘table for two? Soon it’ll be three, no?’ looking down at my belly," she recounts. "That moment of shock and subsequent ranting to my husband sparked the genesis of the play."

When asked what audiences can expect, Stockdale promises a "dark comedy peppered with high camp joy and original songs." She believes that "Fat Chance" resonates with people because it addresses prevalent societal issues. "Fatphobia is deeply ingrained in our culture," she notes. "We're bombarded with messages congratulating extreme weight loss while shaming those who take up space."

As for the audience's reaction, Stockdale says that many have found the show powerful, often laughing and crying throughout. "The best feedback I've received is from people who have decided to stop dieting after seeing the play," she adds. "It seems to strike a chord with individuals from various walks of life."

In preparing for the script, Stockdale conducted extensive research, collaborating with the Fat Performance Network during lockdown. "While I delved deep into the nuances of fatphobia and activism," she explains, "the essence of the story remained rooted in my own life experiences."

Regarding the popularity of solo shows, Stockdale believes that they've gained traction, partly due to the pandemic's impact on theater production. "Funding constraints and logistical challenges have led many creators to explore solo performances," she observes. "For 'Fat Chance,' I always envisioned it as a one-woman play, a vibrant showcase of my multifaceted personality."

Looking ahead, Stockdale reveals that she's collaborating with director Jonluke McKie on a new project titled "Class Confessions." "Expect more dark comedy and political commentary from a benefit class perspective," she hints.

Catch Rachel Stockdale's captivating performance in "Fat Chance" at the Bramall Rock Void, where she invites audiences to laugh, reflect, and challenge societal norms.