From Eric to Rachael

Rachael’s Café, Marlborough Theatre, 4 Prince’s St Brighton,

May 15-17, 9pm.

HOW does Eric Wininger, a muscular, motorbike riding, church-going 40-year-old printer ink salesman from the Midwest with a wife and three children, become Rachael Jones, owner of the inclusive Rachael’s Café right on the Bible Belt in Bloomington, Indiana?

The answers are contained in Rachael’s Café which plays at the Marlborough Theatre, during the Brighton Festival.

Written and directed by Lucy Danser, it was conceived through interviews with its real-life subject Rachael Jones/Eric Wininger. Graham Elwell appears as Rachael.

Lucy Danser said: “Through a blend of verbatim theatre and artistic licence, Rachael’s Cafe explores one person’s unique and moving journey as she struggles with her place in the outside world, while simultaneously trying to create Rachael’s Café, an oasis where everyone is accepted – with no exceptions.”

Lucy promises “a daring and humorous new play delving deep into one person’s understanding of and relationship with gender and sexuality, and its implications in the wider world for himself, his family and his place in society.”

The piece is Lucy’s first play. Her second play BOG is currently in development.

Whilst studying at Indiana University, Lucy wrote a monologue based on Rachael Jones. This was later staged at the university, and Lucy flew back to Indiana a year later to finish the interviews to create this full-length play. The play was premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe 2011 by Little Fly Theatre and a fundraising event was held at the actual cafe in Indiana to pay for Rachael to fly to Edinburgh to see it.