Rachel Stockdale is a benefit-class, plus size northern woman. She’s also an actress, and as she was once told by a casting director, in this industry you can only be 2 of these three things – female, northern and fat. Fat Chance tells Stockdale’s story.

Fat Chance begins with Stockdale having a meltdown as she can’t find an outfit which looks nice on her. She says to the audience ‘why do we have a total meltdown before big events even when were happy with ourselves?’ And it’s a great question. Why do we?

The lamp on stage is Stockdale’s boyfriend ‘Smelly’ – both are from Newcastle, and Smelly’s voiceover is quite difficult to understand at times due to sheer speed of his speech.

The play is centred around the challenges of Rachel’s life as a fat actress, on her journey to body neutrality, something which we should all aim to achieve. Packed full of emotion, she tackles topics including, dieting, bringing up the Cambridge Diet and its starvation plan for ‘obese’ people. She also talks about the origins of the Body Mass Index Scale and how it’s a flawed tool. She highlights the discrimination she’s been subjected to within her career, how she stopped receiving audition offers when she put her dress size on her Spotlight profile. And was offered the most roles in her career when she’d lost weight. Imagine if other industries did this!

There is a moment within the show where Stockdale is attempting to fit into her wedding dress. This moment is filled with intensity, and the emotion is palpable. Stockdale sings during the show, her honest lyrics will simultaneously break your heart and make you laugh.

Fat Chance was exactly what I needed right at that moment. We all feel the consequences of fatphobia and diet culture in daily life. We live in a society that praises weight loss without ever caring what dangerous things someone may have done to lose weight. Stockdale is a captivating storyteller, and her play is raw and honest, she’s incredibly relatable. I’m sure many members of the audience have dealt with similar situations in their life.

Fat Chance truly is a superb one-woman performance that highlights some incredibly important issues. There’s some fine tuning necessary, but Stockdale’s story is one which needs to be told. And fatphobia and diet culture need to be destroyed.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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