The next interview in our stagey chat series, is with the brilliant Racheal Ofori. Racheal is both an actor and a writer. Her most recent writing, FLIP!, is due to open in Newcastle on 10th October, then to Edinburgh, and then at the Soho Theatre in London from the 7th November

Get yourself comfy and join us for the next segment of Stagey Chat!

FLIP! is described as a powerfully new satire, and is written by yourself. Can you tell us about the story?

It’s about the mesmerising world of Crystal and Carleen. We enter their online vlogs of savage cultural commentary takedowns. But cancellation leads them to FLIP!, where one becomes a mega influencer, trading morality for brand deals. Brace yourself for a story of friendship, fame, and the high-stakes cost of online stardom.

What inspired you to write this story, and bring it to the stage?

During lockdown I witnessed the explosive rise of online sensations and couldn't resist the urge to explore this phenomenon. FLIP! was born - a play that captures the electrifying world of online fame, friendship, and the evolving AI landscape.  

How does FLIP! compare to other writing projects you've worked on previously?

It’s in the same provocative, humorous style - and there’s also some poetry thrown in there for heightened absurdity. But this is the first time I’m writing a play for more than one actor. My past work has consisted of solo shows, so it’s very exciting to see my words bouncing between two actors on stage.

What do you hope audiences take away after watching FLIP!?

I hope people will leave questioning influencer culture, and the part each of us play in upholding it. I hope people will laugh at the absurdity of the digital age we find ourselves in, and that it will provoke conversations about healthy approaches to our online connections. 

What does your writing process look like? Is there a certain way you plan your writing?

I always start by essentially throwing up on the page. I used to be quite precious and I’d over analyse everything I’d write - however I find that if I give myself permission to write whatever is coming to me initially without judgement, then I can go back and refine and mine the text. Other than that, I try to give myself to whatever the process is, who I’m collaborating with and the time constraints of the project. I know that the FLIP! I’ve written now, wouldn’t be the same if I’d written it two years ago, equally it wouldn’t if I’d done so even six months from now. I’m at peace with that.

As a writer and an actor, which do you prefer? And does doing both help or hinder your writing and acting?

I feel very lucky to be able to do both. I didn’t even know it was possible when I was applying for drama school. I love them both, but I suppose acting might take the lead as it allows me to be more playful, physical and collaborative - whereas a lot of the writing process can be quite solitary. 

I like to think they help each other. I write words that I would enjoy saying as an actor and equally when I’m acting and the text is so meticulous, I can appreciate it and be inspired by it for my next writing projects. 

A question I ask every guest is that my blog is called Stage to Page, but if you could turn any book, from page to stage, what would it be and why?

I suppose the last book I read because it’s quite fresh in my mind; The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. It’s not narrative driving but I’d be interested to explore how to bring the non-fictional piece to stage. I think there’s so much anxiety in our modern culture; we’re inundated with people living better lives than us all the time through social media, whilst being equally bombarded with how much inflation is out of control. So I would love to see a show that journeys through modern angst with joy and humour. 

And finally, why should people book tickets to FLIP!?

It’s funny, ballsy and it offers a timely exploration of online fame and our evolving relationship with AI. It's a captivating journey that mirrors our digital age and raises thought-provoking questions about the price of online stardom and the moral dilemmas it entails. It's a theatrical experience that's both entertaining and thought-provoking, making it a must-see for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, fame, and morality.

You can book tickets to see FLIP! by Racheal Ofori, here.

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