Social Media

François Lockhart and Clara Courty-Zanca - Rachel Interview

‘Rachel’ is a comic, raunchy one-woman monologue. A heartfelt cry of a young woman that questions our choices in the face of social pressure and global challenges.

Inspired by the Gen Y anxieties, “Rachel” is written by playwright and comedian François Lockhart and performed by LAMDA graduate Clara Courty-Zanca.

Ahead of playing at The White Bear Theatre in South London on 27th and 28th October 2023 we caught up with François and Clara to chat about the show.

What first inspired the writing of Rachel?
François: Clara had originally asked me to write a scene for her while we were at acting school. I had fun writing it, and she had fun acting it, so I kept writing! I would say Rachel is a character inspired by different people who have left their mark on me, whether real people or fictional characters.

What attracted you to want to be a part of 
the production?
Clara: I originally asked François to write a short piece for one of the scratch nights we had at LAMDA. He first wrote the “toast”, when Rachel gives a speech at her best friend’s wedding. And people loved it! So it really motivated us to continue exploring her character. 

How did you go about finding the 
right person in Clara to perform the show?
François: I wrote ‘Rachel’ with Clara in mind which helped me a lot in my writing process, as I could ‘hear’ it come to life more easily, having known Clara for a while. That being said, Clara, as a performer, never ceases to surprise me during rehearsals!

How did you approach developing your 
persona for the show?
Clara: The creation of Rachel’s personna was a fun patchwork. I had time to discover her through the few open mics we took part in over the course of two years. François wrote her bit by bit and it was like watching her grow. She’s so bold, brash and rude (... so French?). It's a pleasure to explore a character who is so different from the other characters I’ve had the opportunity to play! 

What has been the hardest challenge 
you’ve faced in developing the show?
François: From a practical point of view, I would say the realisation that we were really starting from scratch. Two Frenchies in London, trying to figure it all out. From an artistic point of view, I would say the moment where you have bits and pieces and have to articulate them around a narrative arc.

François Lockheart

How exciting is it to get to be directed 
by François who has written the piece?
Clara: François and I have been working and creating together for almost 8 years and it’s always been lush! He knows what I can do as an actress. He won’t hesitate to be absolutely straightforward and sincere and his honesty is always refreshing.

What is it that moment like as a writer 
when you get to see what you’ve 
written come to life?
François: It is indeed deeply satisfying to see a character that you have created come to life, because it’s the culmination of hours and hours of work. Having people tell you how much they can relate to that character, even though it’s a character that is totally different from them, is encouraging as well as a writer.

What keeps you inspired as a creative?
François: The idea that there are a lot of interesting and inspiring stories to be told. Sometimes, as a writer, it can feel like all has been said before. I can’t remember who replied “Sure it has, but not by you”. Acclaimed work, current or past, is also a huge source of inspiration. Watching an amazing series is neither procrastination nor wasted time!
Clara: Other creatives! I was lucky enough to go to drama school in both London and Paris, and had the chance to meet super clever and inspiring people.

What do you hope an audience takes away 
from seeing Rachel?
François: I hope they realise that we are - most of the time - more free and more happy than we believe we are. That a lot of things are in our hands.
Clara: I hope they will get inspired-in a good way!- by her boldness, craziness and humour.

Rachel plays at The White Bear Theatre in South London on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th October 2023. Tickets are avaliable from

Clara Courty-Zanca

Post a Comment


Theme by STS