Where or When is the performance? I aim to create dynamic pieces that live before and beyond a single event. I'm inspired by non-traditional and international performance practices, fed by fields outside theatre - pop culture, fine art, science, comedy, opera, anthropology, indie films. Real and imagined spaces are created to dream in, and collage and mash-ups are used to test connection and miscommunication and the duration of each. I am interested in race, gender, sex, and the pursuit of happiness.
I enjoy collaborate with provocative artists and writers and offer support in developing new work. I am extremely proud to have founded and run the experimental production company, saltpeter and the international creative society, The Brautigan Book Club.
2018, Method and Madness - the Rose Chan screen test. As part of an artists residency with the Borneo Art Collective, this included leading a 2.5 day workshop exploring emotional excavation through body- and imagination-based exercises with non-professional performers i.e. members of the public in Kuching, Borneo. A durational piece was then created to run over five hours, across a carefully curated two-storey gallery space, including three different video installations on a loop, and two live interaction performance spaces. It explored the tension between labels we are given and the roles we play (race, gender, job, artist, friend, partner, parent etc.) vs. our direct sensory and emotional experience. More info here.
2018, Sex Chat with Vera Chok, a web series. An experiment in edu-tainment, where the audience is frustrated into siding with the subjects, rejecting the protagonist, and activated into finding out more about gender and power structures. This is a development on a 2015 commission, the live piece, These Twelve Things Are True.
2017, Vera Chok's Vacation. A 20 min live performance. In conjunction with the Live Art Development Agency's DIY 14: Locating Your Audaciousness, Rachel Mars and Greg Wohead. A live performance at The Space, Glasgow
2016, The presentation and re-presentation of the foreign body, or, the performativity of self for the oriental woman, #Intersectionality, OR, MY WHITE BOYFRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOURS, Oxford Annual Anti-Slam (champion)
A comedic live performance. A send up of the hyper-sexualisation of and racism towards the female "oriental" body.
2015, These Twelve Things Are True, for John Walter’s Alien Sex Club, Ambika P3, London
An interdisciplinary piece with actors, live music, film, and poetry was created following conversations with HIV expert Dr Michael Brady. A deliberately aggravating performance highlighting issues of frustration around HIV detection. A comedy.
2015, Home, for Anna Sulan Masing's Don't Sing in the Kitchen, London
An improvised, interactive, musical storytelling piece where audience members were guided to share tales of home with me.
2015, Whale Song for Fanny Peculiar’s Hellfire Club - A Feminist Knees Up, Toynbee Studios, London
A piece deconstructing a joke. An exploration of whether artists are allowed to be funny. Details of the event here.
2014, Vampire of My Heart, Or, How I Found God And Am At One With The Universe, Annual Anti-Valentine Anti-Slam (runner up), Hackney Attic, London.
2014, VERA CHOK’S MEGA DANCE PARTY XXX! Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club (BGWMC); Schloss Neuschweinsteiger, Berlin; Avellana, Seville
An interactive autobiography; the exploration of nostalgia for a home that doesn’t exist.
2013, I Love You But… We Only Have Four Minutes to Save the Earth, for Nathan Evans, Toynbee Studios, London
A solo dance piece exploring if self care and joy can spread and save the world. Details here.
2013, The Happy Artist, Tempting Failure Festival, Bristol
A one-on-one series of improvised interactions exploring the generation of happiness.
2012, Vera and Friend, The Mary Bijou Cabaret, Cardiff
A song and dance duet piece with Charles Adrian investigating clowning in a cabaret scenario.
2012, You Can Leave Your Hat On, Live Art Speed, Stoke Newington International Airport
A one-on-one intimate, improvised interaction aiming to transform their lives inside 10 minutes of private time
Selected productions as Artistic Director of saltpeter
2014 Anti-Valentine Festival. Three evenings of curated performances; Bethnal Green Working Men's Club (BGWMC)
2014, Tonseisha - The Man Who Abandoned the World, further excerpt, Tete a Tete Opera Festival, London
2010-2012, Samantha's Sunday Night Supper Club series. A quarterly alternative cabaret nights hosted by Ms Samantha Mann; BGWMC
2012, Brautigan Book Club, monthly series + quarterly extraordinary events. A real and virtual meeting place generating creativity. Performances, screenings and talks; BGWMC, London; Dinefwr Literature Festival, Carmarthernshire. Including the first UK publication and free distribution of Richard Brautigan's Please Plant This Book, the music album, Please Plant These Songs and a collaboration with The Brautigan Library, Washington for National Unpublished Writers Day.
2012, Tonseisha - The Man Who Abandoned the World, further excerpt, Rough for Opera, Cockpit Theatre
2012, Tonseisha - The Man Who Abandoned the World, excerpt, Grimeborn Opera Festival, Arcola Theatre
2012, The Brautigan Book Club at Dinefwr Literature Festival. Featuring Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Martin Carr (Boo Radleys), Ianthe Brautigan, and the first UK publication of Richard Brautigan's Please Plant This Book.
2012, Anti-Valentine Evening featuring All Men Are Whores and a taster of Lucy Hopkins' Le Foulard; BGWMC
2012, From the Jungle - stories of migration and home, co-production with Anna Sulan Masing; various London locations
2012, The American Forever, Etc. - A Library. Featuring Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Martin Carr (Boo Radleys), Thom Tuck; BGWMC
2011, Diadem, an improvised performance from Berlin, secret location, London
2011, Selamat Hari Gawai, BGWMC
2011, The Fever, Brighton Fringe (5*, Pick of the Fringe)
2010, The Fever, People Show Studios
2010, The Death of Tintagel, People Show Studios (Time Out Critics Choice)
Selection of artist collaborations:
2017, Call It A Day, Greg Wohead, The Yard, London. Stemming from a real meeting with a traditional Amish couple, a remembered account of one afternoon generates a series of repetitions. A strange and kaleidoscopic examination of how we control our self-presentation and how we lose it.
2016, Lost Beat Officer, Whitstable Biennale. A live, interactive performance made in collaboration with lead artist Lucy Pawlak.
2015, Celebration, Florida for Greg Wohead, The Yard, London. A two hander for unrehearsed performers. Participating artists follow audio instructions and improvise interaction with the audience.
2015, Timeshare, for Lucy Pawlak, Art Licks Weekend, London. I hosted artist Lucy Pawlak in my body, re-embodying her words and gestures via a livestream connection from a sofa in Mexico. We superimposed real estate in Cancun onto land ripe for re-development in Dalston.
2014, Like Sand Disappearing Or Something. Hannah Rickards' audio piece, Modern Art Oxford
2013, Arriving Without Leaving, Lucy Pawlak. Performance on Fogo Island, off Newfoundland. A virtual third space between live audiences in Toronto and Fogo Island was created with two performers acting as live avatars for the audience groups.