Rachel begins with Clara Courty-Zanca assertively parading onto the stage in an assaulting pink suit. From this entrance, I felt I knew exactly the show I was in for. How wrong I was. At times Rachel had an air of reliable predictiveness but mostly I found myself mouth open in shock at the humour and the actions of Rachel.
The show examines millennial anxiety and the never-ending rat race of the career-centred world we are unfortunately all in. Rachel earns a lot of money and blows it on expensive marble and trips to Eastern Europe. However, as the play progresses we see her lose her shit over a missed promotion and insinuate a little light cannibalism, just for a beat.
Admittedly it took me a while to warm up to the show, I felt like the comedic timing was stilted and at times it felt as if Courty-Zanca was pausing for laughter which didn’t always come. However, as the monologue moved on the uneven comedic rhythm worked very well for Rachel’s character. She’s almost funny, almost sane, almost bearable. I found myself thinking what human is this unhinged and Rachel showed me exactly who.
The staging and lights were simple and effective, each prop had a use and although some time was spent shuffling chairs and set about it never felt wasted. Courty-Zanca took time to stay in character and add her flair to the transitions. I also appreciated the comical hazmat routine.
I thought the writing, by François Lockhart was great. It never felt overtly obvious even if every single word was satirical. It was intelligent and, most of all, witty. At times, dare I say it, I felt as I could see myself in Rachel, her breakdown and cathartic release was a surprisingly emotive moment. It brought a real sense of clarity to the type of life Rachel is satirising.
Overall, I loved how the performance felt like this absurd yet realistic piece of clowning. Rachel in her bright pink suit, living this tedious yet convincing life, yet stuck in an invisible rat race to the top. It felt deliciously moreish. Unlike (spoiler alert) watching someone bite a mouthful of raw meat.
Recommended Drink: The biggest shot of vodka you can find. Seriously.
Performances of Rachel have now concluded. However, you can keep up with EnRoute on Instagram.