VERA CHOK

Actor, Writer & Performance Maker

Writing and producing new work complements my approach to acting and vice versa. I'm glad to be able to work alongside artists and writers when they're developing pieces, and I am extremely proud to have founded and run saltpeter and The Brautigan Book Club

Where or When is the performance? I create pieces that have a life beyond the event. I'm inspired by non-traditional and international performance practices, fed by fields outside theatre - TV, fine art, science, stand-up, opera, anthropology, indie films - relish risk, and celebrate mistakes. 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 happiness. Comedy and naughtiness are my primary weapons.

 

Vera Chok productions

 

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 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
A piece deconstructing a joke. An exploration of whether artists are allowed to be funny. Details of the event here.

2014Vampire of My Heart, Or, How I Found God And Am At One With The Universe, Annual Anti-Valentine Anti-Slam (runner up) 

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
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

Click here more information on the projects and 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)

 

Artists I've been very pleased to have performed for:

 

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.