RACHEL’S CAFÉ To 15 March.


by Lucy Danser.

Old Red Lion Theatre 418 St John Street EC1V 4NJ To 15 March 2014.
Tue–Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat 3pm, Sun 2pm.
Runs 1hr No interval.

TICKETS: 0207 837 7816.
Review: William Russell 28 February.

Being both man and woman clearly explored.
Lucy Danser’s play is based on a conversation she had while a student at university in Indiana with the real Rachel Jones, who runs a café in the neighbouring town of Bloomington, Danser using the talk for her playwriting class work.

She has provided a fascinating insight into the mind of a man, Eric Wininger, who spends part of his life as a woman. Eric, a father of two, divorced but still in contact with his former wife, is a transvestite because the journey he is on has not yet led him to doing anything about actually having a sex change.

A churchgoer, a devoted Dad, and sporting man, Eric simply decided he wanted something else out of life and now lives as a woman – part of the time . His children know but he has yet to fully come out as Rachel in their world, partly because he wants to do the right thing by everyone, but also because somehow the right time to do so has not come along.

Performed with great skill by Graham Elwell, Eric/Rachel’s story is certainly sad and yet uplifting because he/she is quite simply indomitable and feels no self-pity. Instead one can relish her gutsy responses to the things life throws in her path, enjoy the way she bounces back and makes the best of a bad job, and hope that the journey she is on does have a happy ending, whatever that may be.

Eric would love to have a sex-change, Rachel confides at one point, but “ it is complicated” . Danser, who has directed the piece, does not take sides in any way, she simply creates her version of Rachel and Graham Elwell does the rest.

Rachel Jones: Graham Elwell.

Director: Lucy Danser.
Designer: Martin Thomas.
Lighting/Sound: Owen Evans.

2014-03-02 22:37:59

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