Vera grew up in Malaysia and is of Chinese descent. Starting with Human Sciences, she holds a Masters in Archaeology & Anthropology from Oxford before training as an actor at The Poor School (London) and Ecole Philippe Gaulier (Paris). She gained a distinction for her creative writing MA with a poetic collection excavating the sexual identity of an immigrant woman.
Commissioned by WeTransfer alongside Deepak Chopra as one of the world's 40 "cultural luminaries", Vera is an award-winning, cross-platform writer who co-wrote The Good Immigrant (Book of the Year 2016, BBC Book of the Week, #1 Guardian Books, #1 Amazon). Her poetic and comment pieces have been published by The Guardian, Brain Mill Press, Rising, Yauatcha Life, and The Brautigan Free Press. In 2017, Vera judged the Bread & Roses Radical Book Prize, the Jhalak Prize for writers of colour, and the inaugural Tomorrow At Noon playwriting prize. She has helped develop new plays with The National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, and The Royal Court.
As a maker, Vera uses disruption and comedy to write and produce seemingly simple, mischievous pieces that investigate connection. Vera is particularly interested in race, sex and gender, and the construction of meaning. Key influences include master clown, Philippe Gaulier, performance improviser, Andrew Morrish, Charles Adrian, The Bones Theatre founder, Krystian Godlewski (Grotowski, Michael Chekhov), Bryony Kimmings and Stacy Mawkish. In 2010, Vera founded the production company saltpeter, and international creative society The Brautigan Book Club and was resident artist at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club.
In terms of social engagement, Vera is Trustee of both Artsadmin, a producing house founded in 1979 which enables artists to create without boundaries, and Tête à Tête, the world's largest community for new opera. She is acts as Ambassador for Fearless Futures, a female-led social justice training programme, and for Apple and Pears, a charity which enables primary school children and their families to explore new worlds.
As an actor, Vera was one of the UK's 15 Theatre Faces to Watch (What' s On Stage) in 2015 and was nominated for a BBC Audio Drama Award (Best Debut Performance). On stage, she was recently performing opposite Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench, featured in Tom Stoppard’s latest play, THE HARD PROBLEM and was an original cast member of CHIMERICA (Almeida & West End transfer; winner of 5 Olivier Awards and The Evening Standard Play of the Year). She's filmed for Tom Cruise, Michaela Cole, Catherine Hardwicke, Marc Foster, and Lone Sherfig.
You can read Vera's blog HERE.