Phina Oruche is having an identity crisis.
Best known for her role as aloof supermodel Liberty Baker in ITV1 drama Footballers’ Wives, Phina, now in her 40s, has started to question who she really is.
Spending more than two decades of her life taking on other people’s identities - first as a New York fashion model and later as an award-winning TV actress - has taken its toll.
Her new one woman show, Identity Crisis, was written as part of her masters degree and although it is based upon her own life story, it explores identity struggles that are common to all of us.
Through its low key staging, the show provides a perfect vehicle for Phina’s larger than life characterisations. From Amy Tan, a working class white girl with a Scouse brow and a taste for spray tans, to Antonio de Silva, a football crazy Italian living in LA who misses his mum, Phina brings a colourful cast of eight characters to life, all of whom are having their own identity crisis.
Meet ‘Mary Middle Class’, widowed in her 50s, she now picks up men at funerals, Rasta, mixed race, dreadlocked, Liverpool born and Mama Nukku, loosely based on her own Nigerian mother.
The tale begins with the real life story of the sudden death of Phina’s 19-year-old niece in her house in 2011 and the ensuing press intrusion.
Phina said: “After years of identity struggles, writing this show has given me the freedom to play characters I would never get cast as. All of my characters are vulnerable, flawed and struggling with who they are and this makes them very human.
“Many of my characters are working class and are portraying voices and experiences that are often absent on stage and screen.”
Identity Crisis plays at The Storey in Lancaster on Saturday April 16 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 and are available on 01524 582394.